Exposé Online banner

The Ukrainians — Diaspora
(Omnium 2046, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2010-07-01

Diaspora Cover artHard to believe it’s been 18 years since this band’s first release. While they’ve hardly been prolific – only four studio albums in that time, along with a couple of live releases and compilations – they’ve got a solid legacy of great music to show for their efforts, and this new release doesn’t let down their tradition of greatness one bit. The basic modus operandi features acoustic instruments (guitar, violin, mandolin, accordion, and so on) backed by electric bass and drum kit; occasional electric guitar, keyboards, and brass add a little variety. The music is mostly original, though to naïve ears could pass for rocked up version of Slavic folk songs. This time out they add an energetic arrangement of Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” which of course fits in perfectly. The lyrics are not in English, all Ukrainian, I think, and the brash male harmonies bring to mind every clichéd Russian song ever to appear in a movie, but the fact that they twist it up with a punkish abandon lifts it to an entirely new level. Aside from that, it’s just plain fun. Even if you can’t understand a word, you find yourself wanting to sing along or do a dance involving potentially dangerous squat-kicks. The performances are flawless, though not in a sterile or studious way. In short, this band belongs among the top proponents of folk rock around the world today.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): The Ukrainians

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Total Normal - Total Normal – Total Normal is Thierry Vaudor, a French Canadian multimedia artist applying his electroacoustic background from the University of Montreal to create interesting musical compositions. Total Normal is...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues