Our long-time friends at ШЩЦ, Kyiv-born collective now based in London, have an emotional, diverse compilation out now that “celebrates the spirit of winter.” It memorializes their late community member Maksym Ostyak, who died defending Ukraine.

It’s hard not to wind up by shedding some tears by halfway through the achingly beautiful second cut “Storms” by A Stick And A Stone, featuring Rush. And it just continues from there — a full range of feelings and genres, spanning witch house to IDM in a magical mix. It’s dark yet often warm, draped in ethereal vocals, then turning to rapid-fire, rough-edged digital rhythms puncturing fog-like pads. Take TRANCEDÆNCE – Brothel, which sounds wholly unlike you might guess from the title, or the murky, delicate Mob – 16 (Ногируки Flip).

ШЩЦ aka SHSHCHTS began this third VA as an open call, and there’s a mix of artists from the Ukrainian scene and worldwide. Bohdan Konakov’s usual deeply felt, post-internet neuron-tickling imagination is there, repping the label and collective. But take a ride through rich, cinematic, eclectic terrain from a whole bunch of artists – and still the sense of the well of artists in the Ukrainian scene even in the midst of war.

It’s eclectic, but it also tells a story – an oddly calming dream journey you can trace through step by step to the end.

Here’s what Bogdan shared to CDM about the process of this coming together:

It all kicked off about half a year ago when we got a message from Tryasavitsa, asking why there’d been no releases on ШЩЦ for nearly two years. Times were a bit tricky; we’d just relocated from Kyiv to London after the whole Covid-19 nightmare, and then our homeland went up in flames with the war. Absolutely mental. We did a couple of fundraisers, but there was a bit of a void in the community, you know? It was lonely time in this big city.

Everything was brand new, and we had to kickstart everything from scratch. In this new city and reality, we gradually started to mingle with people, and something proper started to take shape. This summer, Tryasavitsa showed us a demo – a belter of a track. Then, within a few days, Vlad dropped his track ‘Pusti Slova,’ and Bakunn sent over a mix with this bonkers rap track. It gave us this feeling like we needed to give it a nudge and put together a third compilation.

We were well chuffed to see such a grand response to our open call, with loads of top-notch tunes rocking that dark but kind witchhouse vibe. We didn’t even specify what we were after in terms of music genre or style; it all just fell into place naturally. We’re proper happy to be putting out such brilliant music and grateful for the creative journey we’re on. Cheers!

Additionally, I forgot to mention that this autumn, we experienced a truly interesting moment when a small group of us came together to establish a genuine music community. Now, we’ve formed a dedicated team of individuals who contribute to ШЩЦ. It’s a delicate moment right now as we’re just starting out, and everything feels refreshingly new. Yet, we sense that there’s something truly special unfolding ~~~ there is our insta https://www.instagram.com/shshchts_
and bandcamp https://shshchts.bandcamp.com/

Lately, it feels like we’ve been watching wars in split-screen helplessly. I’ve been talking to Bogdan about this compilation for some months, in which our world has only spiraled further. For their part, ШЩЦ in their statement say that they “express a collective stance against war.” And that is absolutely what I’ve heard from people serving and experiencing violence first-hand.

Music can seem meaningless in the face of all of this. But what music can do is penetrate the silence, to answer the senselessness with something human. And as musicians, we can be fearlessly and uncompromisingly human in fighting the devaluation of life. So this release is devoted not only to a loved, fallen colleague but also to Maksym’s daughter and family.

Their full statement:

This special release serves as a fundraiser dedicated to the memory of
Maksym Ostyak, a cherished member of the community. Maksym, a
musician, artist, and volunteer soldier, tragically lost his life while defending Ukraine. The primary objective of this fundraising initiative is to provide financial support to Maksym’s daughter, offering her a sense of hope and assistance.

Expressing a collective stance against war, ШЩЦ deeply mourns the loss of Maksym, recognizing his bravery and sacrifice.

All profits generated from the sales will go directly to Maksym’s
family, honoring his legacy and providing tangible support during this difficult time.

The comp is on streaming platforms, but today is Bandcamp Friday and you can pay what you want.

Those of you in London, you can also meet them in person next week – and we are all lucky when we can meet one another in person:

On December 9, ШЩЦ will host an event at The Old Church Stoke
Newington in London, featuring a fusion of ambient, noise, and
contemporary pop music. The lineup includes performances by Ghostlore of Britain, Bodya Konakov, Mud Creeper, and a mesmerizing organ set by Ellis Bredwick. Join us for a night of diverse and immersive musical experiences in this unique venue.

https://shshchts.bandcamp.com

Back in the day, those days of 2019: