Friday, May 12, 2006

New Ukrainian Music magazine disappoints

I can sympathize with the writer of this Kyiv Post article:

When I heard that a new Ukrainian music magazine "Mixer" was coming out, I was pretty excited - finally Ukraine would have a local publication that would cover the music scene professionally by knowledgeable writers. ... However, when I finally got my hands on a copy of the first issue of the Mixer, which came out in April, I found that all my hopes were quite in vain.

The glossy magazine, with Madonna on the cover, contained just a fraction of information that might possibly be of interest to me. Most of the magazine's contents were ... obviously "borrowed" from more established and knowledgeable magazines. Moreover after coming across several factual mistakes, I had little faith left in the "Mixer"...

Altogether, the "Mixer" looks like it was put together by enthusiastic students who only learned about music by watching videos on the M1 music channel. ...

From the North American viewpoint (mine, anyway) this reflects the Ukrainian music industry in general. A big fat commercial sell-out. Sure, there's lots of music coming out of Ukraine. And except for the language, it sounds pretty much like contemporary music from any other country.

Meanwhile, for those of us looking for music with authentic Ukrainian heart and soul, the pickings are pretty slim.


Anonymous said...

Aussiegirl said:

Too bad -- unfortunately one of the reasons there is so much anti-Americanism in the world, I believe, is that American pop culture drowns out everything else, including any authentic indigenous cultural forms that might arise. Ukraine is borrowing too heavily from both Russian and American sources, and definitely needs to rediscover it's own roots. But the American pop scene is the 500 pound gorilla that just sits on any other contenders because of their reach, their money, and their influence.

Pawlina said...

I don't know if it's pop culture so much as the hype that's the problem behind anti-Americanism. Some of it is very good.( Obviously!) But the promoters that push the crap and ignore the good are ruining it for everyone, including themselves (only their heads are too far up you-know-where for them to figure it out).

That 500-lb gorilla is the product of a Goliath promotions racket (it doesn't deserve to be called an "industry").

What I'd love to see is some "Davids" come out and take on "Goliath"! There are Ukrainian groups like Mandry and artists like Anytchka and of course Bilozir, Burmaka, Morozov, Petronenko, et al that do great folk-pop fusion. Even folk groups like Ukrainochka, Ekspres and Anatoli Rudenko's Ensemble Kyiv do stuff that has universal appeal.

It would be nice to see a record label or two (in Ukraine or anywhere else for that matter)willing to take a risk and promote this music. I'd be willing to bet the return for the risk would be well worth it.