Wormwood Blooms (Polyn Kvitne): ukrainian dark/neofolk compilation

The compilation press release

When You wish upon the stars, it makes the difference who You are (Ostara)
Ukrainian darkfolk community and Strawberry World Records present the first ukrainian compilation in the "apocalyptic folk" genre and the related styles. This sampler, called "Wormwood Blooms" and released in March 2005, presents the experimental as well as more conventional material created by ukrainian independent artists. Among them there are some projects known in the country and abroad (VIY, VEZHA KHMAR, NEKRAINA) some that are acquiring their audience now (ZAMKOVA TIN, SORROW EXPERT), some rather unknown, such as MO-KOMO, ALEKSANDRA LOSEVA and THE LITZ. Their styles vary from acoustic ballads and gothic ambience to ritual chants and industrial cut-ups.

The release is dedicated to the nineteenth anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophy.

VEZHA KHMAR, founded in 1996, and NEKRAINA, f.in 1998, became the first apocalyptic folk bands in Ukraine. The former may be defined as playing ritual ambient chants close to the aesthetics of Cold Meat Industry and based on the traditional melodics; the latter became first known due to their authorised interpretations of Death in June and Current 93 songs, and later with the original cut-ups and "electronique noir" works that now continue being published online under the name CHARSKY. Earlier, in 1993, the debut album by VIY, f.in 1991, "Black Plough", recorded in the pagan psychedelic-folk key, came out, having been re-released several times the following years.
In 1998-2001 Alter.Ego magazine and Black Kobzar webzine maintained by Anton Shekhovtsov and Georgiy Charsky (NEKRAINA) had become the first information source on apocalyptic folk music in CIS states. Experimental and darkfolk tracks are now broadcast on the air of "Prosto Radio" FM station by Dmitry Vekov, the soundproducer of the cult acoustic/dreampop band FLEUR. Live shows arranged by Vekov often feature the younger projects, such as darkfolk/ambient duo, SORROW EXPERT, f.in 2004.
In 2002-2004 the albums and compilation tracks by FLEUR, NEKRAINA, VEZHA KHMAR and THE LITZ were published by QuasiPop record label.
The new projects continue to appear on the scene. MO-KOMO, f.in 2004, unite the cut-up techniques with the poetic text; ALEKSANDRA LOSEVA, presently living in St.Petersburg, Russia, has been recently working as the singer and songwriter, as well as within the acoustic/trashpop band, VERESK; ZAMKOVA TIN, f.in 2001, explore the medieval composition and psychedelic influences; THE LITZ, f.in 2000, work in the synth/darkfolk and ambient areas.

MP3 sample: SORROW EXPERT - A Child Astray (full) (excerpt)

MP3 sample: ALEKSANDRA LOSEVA - "Unfamiliar Town..." (full) (excerpt)

The compilation represents both the history and the current state of ukrainian dark folk-related scene, striving to create the basis for information exchange and creative collaborations.

Our contact address is:
Dmitry Khodyko, PO box 1295, Lviv 79044 Ukraine. Email: danner@mail.ru

Download the compilation press release in Word 6 format

The website of this project is http://www.dark-folk.org.ua

Some of the participants have their own English websites:
Viy : http://www.viyfrom.kiev.ua
The Litz : http://www.litz.lviv.ua

The Ukrainian and Russian websites are the following:
Vezha Khmar : http://www.vezha.de
Nekraina / CharSky : http://www.charsky.net/mp3
Aleksandra Loseva / Veresk : http://www.dark-folk.org.ua/veresk

From the reviews

Neofolk scene represented in the compilation is very diversified and original, ukrainian musicians, basically, go their own way, and probably thanks to this, the sampler will be interesting to the wide audience. "Wormwood Blooms" includes practically no clones of the western neofolk standarts...
(Seidr webzine, Russia, http://seidr.woods.ru . Review by Wolfsblood)

With its "traditional" folklore basis, "Wormwood Blooms" virtually sets the standart. The chants, the recitatives, the mermaids' murmur really call to the "sources"...
("Evening News", Kiev, Ukraine. The article by Anton Klots)