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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Howe - The Haunted Melody – The Yes/Asia guitarist realizes a lifelong ambition by creating the perfect jazz setting with son, Dylan Howe on drums and Ross Stanley on Hammond B3. The arrangements across the stellar recording...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues