Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Riffmaster debuts new release

Last Friday, Feb. 27, Ukrainian rock musician Riffmaster (Andrij Antonenko) debuted a video of his latest release called Lyst do Dushi (Letter to the Soul).

The debut took place at Kyiv's Art Club 44-B. My good friend Vasyl, of the uaMuzik blog was kind enough to interview him at the debut for me. The interview will air later this month, so stay tuned!

(There's a photo of Riffmaster and Vasyl in an earlier blog post (here) taken at the Kupidon bar when I was in Kyiv last fall.)

The song itself aired on the Feb. 22 broadcast of Nash Holos so if you haven't heard it yet, download the program and give it a listen! (It's just past the halfway mark.)

More information about Riffmaster and his music at his website (here).


Anonymous said...

Is this music available for purchase anywhere besides a Kyiv metro stop?

It seems like these artists like promotion but do not make their product available for sale.

Such a shame!

Pawlina said...

If by "anywhere" you mean Canada, I agree, it is not easy to find Ukrainian music CDs. The best place online, of course, is Yevshan. There are Ukrainian sites as well but lately it seems that they are infected with viruses. So yes, it is a shame Ukie music is not readily available for purchase.

I also agree with your astute observation about artist promotion vs music sales. Promotion of course is much easier (and sexier) than the mundane business of effective distribution. But I don't think it's fair to single out Ukrainian artists. Until the internet, it's been a business dominated by big players in all its aspects. So give the "little players" a bit of time to get over the learning curve!

As for Riffmaster, I believe I mentioned on Nash Holos that production of an album is underway... as soon as I get word it's out and where you can get it, I'll let NH listeners and blog readers know.

So, stay tuned!

Vasyl said...

To the anonymous user,

One of the greatest problems of music in Ukraine or Ukrainian music in general is the lack of a system of effective distribution. I have written about it on my blog in the past, and it continues to be a problem. In addition, Ukrainian music has always somewhat been on the periphery. Some of those who make it big in Ukraine, don't make it big elsewhere due to their lack of global appeal, and if they are making it at all it is in very niche market segments and at a very high expense.

Regarding the issue of promotion, promotion goes on at various levels, and in most cases it is not just the promotion, but artists of finding the means to not only produce their music but to survive in a very competitive industry, be it in Ukraine or in Canada. The export of Ukrainian culture could be a big money maker if the government here had some vision, unfortunately they don't, and hence there are a few that get the support, mostly due to political connections rather than on their talent.

Regarding Riffmaster I will be seeing their management this coming week to discuss some of the things that they could possibly do in order to improve distribution, amongst other things.

I'm glad you like their material, little of what you heard of it. If you want to learn more about them, you can read about them on my blog at: Talking about tight</A

Pawlina said...

That post you refer to, Vasyl, was an excellent description of the distribution dilemma of Ukie music and culture.

I'm not sure there's any need for government to get involved, tho, apart from changing its tendency to get in the way of people trying to efficiently and effectively run businesses.

Recall that in the U.S., where pop culture/showbiz began, it was the initiative of a few visionaries who saw the business potential of producing good entertainment using the new technology of the day, and making money on the mass distribution of it. And so they did their homework as well as the legwork required to produce and distribute it effectively ... before someone else did.

I see history repeating itself now, and bringing opportunity with it.

The internet is today's "new technology" and making use of technology (for both production and distribution) is far less costly today than it was in the early days of Hollywood, radio and TV.

Making matters even more favourable for today's long tail entrepreneurs is that the recent economic collapse is exacerbating what the internet started in terms of causing the media/entertainment business behemoth to implode.

Perhaps there is a lesson in all this for those of us who are passionate about Ukrainian music and culture...

Stanilav said...

I can't get why many musicians in Ukraine play songs with contemporary subject in Russian or English and only something can be called as abstract fantasy in Ukrainian? It is about Riffmaster's Місяць song. Trust me, Ukrainian can serve contemporary. ... Guess I need wrote a song one day to prove that :-)

Pawlina said...

Give him time, Stan! He just started to switch over to Ukrainian. He's a brilliant musician, I'm sure he'll be coming up with songs on all kinds of topics.

Personally, I rather like fantasy in song lyrics. It's a great escape from the mundane work-a-day world!

So, what happened to your romantic Ukrainian heart? :-)