Carpathian Ska - Ukrainian Dub Machine - Hutsul Punk
"The Haydamaky are the present day disciples of the Ukrainian cult of tradition. Through their spiritual and musical integrity, they are committed to the cause of taking back their culture from the hands of corrupt, immoral mentality".
The Haydamaky began their career in 1991, shortly after Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union. At that time the band was known as Aktus, and played mostly local gigs in the underground Kyiv music scene. In the absence of a fertile, popular local music scene, Aktus turned to the sounds of reggae, ska, and punk music for a fresh alternative. The group was also attracted to the political impact that these genres had on their society. The idea that through music significant social change is possible, gave greater purpose to the performance of such musical styles. The discovery of these musical genres later became the key to their own realization of a specifically Ukrainian musical style. Haydamaky's hope is to forge an inherently Ukrainian popular music style, which looks back on its own heritage and traditions as a source for inspiration.
With the support of sopilka - player Olexandr Yarmola and accordionist Ivan Leno, both well-known and respected in folk circles, the band increasingly incorporated elements of Ukrainian folk music into their compositions.
Since the early 1990s Aktus has engaged in constant touring of Europe. Unlike most popular Ukrainian music groups who propagated Soviet style of performances on stage or copied Western and American fashions, Aktus sought to introduce elements of Ukrainian folk music through a cross-cultural mix including reggae and ska.
As of early 2001, the group was discovered in Kyiv by EMI international records from London and the contract with the label was signed immediately. It was also then that the band realized that it was time to establish an even firmer tie with their own culture, and changed their name to Haydamaky, in honor of the historical Haydamaky rebellion which took place in Ukraine in the 18th century. This rebellion was a reaction of Ukrainian peasants and serfs against repressive foreign occupation.
The music of Haydamaky is inspired by various ethnic kind of music from around the world, especially from different regions of Ukraine, such as Polesie, Bukowina, and Zakarpacie. Other influences include punk music of the late Shane McGowan and reggae of such bands like Burning Spear and Black Uhuru.
During the last years the band participated in various festivals such as: TFF Rudolstadt - 2003 (Germany), "Litomerzickyj Korzen" - 2002, 2003 (Czech Republic), "Barevna Planeta" (Usti. n. Labem, Czech Republic), "Colors of Ostrava" (Ostrava 2004, Czech Republic), "Viljandi Folk"- 2003, "BaltoScandal" (Rakvere 2004, Estonia), "Pohoda Festival" - 2001, 2002 (Trencin), "Svatoyursky Ramus" (Svaty Yur 2004), "Hodokvas" (Piezenok 2004, Slovakia), Eurofolk (Sanok 2003, Poland), Folkfiesta (Ząbkowice 2004, Poland), Reggae&DubFestival (Bielawa 2004, Poland), just to name a few.
Haydamaky has recently performed at many club venues across Europe, including as a special guest at a concert of Asian Dub Foundation in Bratislava, Slovakia. Other club appearances took place in Germany, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Moscow.
In April 2004 the band released their second album "Bohuslav". This time the group searched even deeper into Ukrainian folk music for material, ideas, and textures. The ensemble has invited violinist Vasyl Hekker, perhaps the foremost authority on authentic Ukrainian folk violin style, to collaborate on the project. Bandurist - guitarist Jurij Fedynskyj from New York has moved to Kyiv to join the ensemble. Ukrainian free-style bandurist Roman Grynkiv (famous worldwide for his works with Andreas Vollenweider and Al Di Meola) also participated in the recording of the album "Bohuslav;" and the band invited two young ladies from authentic Ukrainian choir "Bogychy": Natalia Serbina and Masha Firsova, to do the back - vocals on the most songs on the album.
Oleksandr Yarmola - vocals, sopilka
Ivan Leno - accordion, dulcimer, lira, backing vocals
Volodymyr Sherstyuk - bass, drymba
Eugeniu Didyk(Hajduk) - trumpet
Oleksandr Dem'yanenko - guitar, domra
Ruslan Ovras - drums, percussion instruments
Vladyslav Grymalskyi - sound engineer, dub
Nazar Dron - stage sound
Sergiy Bravarnyuk - percussion