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coverpic flag Ukraine - Full Moon 165 - 02/28/10

Ojra & Kiritchenko
A Tangle of Mokosha
Nexsound / Lollipoppe Shoppe

As I've said before, it's always fun and exciting to receive packages from Nexsound, Ukraine. It's been some time since last time, but all of a sudden a new disc pops into our mail box. This time a collaboration between Nexsound founder Andrey Kiritchenko and Ojra, a 4-piece Ukrainian folk band.

A Tangle of Mokosha is, as described on their myspace-site, 'authentic Ukrainian folk and electronics', which is quite an accurate description. Experimental electronics wiz Kiritchenko (on electronics, field recordings, mouth harp/harmonica, percussion) and Ojra (Halyna Breslavets on vocals, Natalka Dudynska on violin, Petro Yuha on solilka and hulusi, and Yurko Yefremov on bass, dulcimer, drymba) met in 2007 and decided for a folk/electronic collaboration project. The result is A Tangle of Mokosha, which is a rather exotic and different record. The only Ukrainian related folk music I'm familiar with from earlier on is The Wedding Present's Ukrainski sessions, and former TWP-guitarist Peter Solowka's band Ukrainians. I guess this is quite some other cup of tea. The songs included on A Tangle of Mokosha are authentic (mostly eastern) Ukrainian folk songs both of pagan and Christian origin.

The balance of the songs tip two ways. Sometimes in the more folksy way, other times in the more electronic way. I guess the pendulum swings freely between Orja and Kiritchenko. Between the two styles, poles, of music. The vocal style on this album is quite different than I'm (we're, in Western Europe) used to listen to. It's challenging, but challenging in the right way. They claim their main influences to be (as mentioned) authentic folk music of the Ukraine, cutting-edge electronic music, plus the 1964 movie Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (directed by Sergei Parajanov).

A Tangle of Mokosha is a fascinating listen, even though I doubt I'll play this record to pieces.

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