Young, restless, unruly hearts from deep in Ukraine arrive with two recent releases. The results are unsettling in the best possible way as we trip into space – and learn that baby kangaroos are seriously punk.

2024’s MusicMakers Hacklab at CTM Festival was helmed by Odesa native Sophia Bulgakova, alongside Darsha Hewitt, and in a diverse multinational group, Sophia also brought in a strong, independent Ukrainian element. I expect you’ll see outcomes in the work of the other participants in other ways, but the Ukrainian artists all spun their work into standalone releases.

Moe Nagasi/Dmytro Filatov: Dive in Light. Both hailing from Donbas, Moe Nagasi and Dmytro Filatov joined forces for a fiery live performance that debuts on now-legendary imprint I Shall Sing Until My Land is Free – putting their emerging names alongside the likes of Muslimgauze and Merzbow. Call it “The Devil Went Down to Donetsk” – violinist/producer Valeriia adds fiddle fireworks atop a shared landscape of aggressive electronics, in a soundscape roiled up like an angry stormy sea. This was a live performance in Berlin, but it holds up on its own as a singular expression. (The image isn’t directly from the 2024 hacklab, but from their live visual collaborator from the same show – this is Zalán Szakács, here with a still from a 2023 installation entitled Lichtspiel.) Listen/details:

Today we are glad to present you our new release from two great young Ukrainian artists hailing from Donbas region – 𝗠𝗼𝗲 𝗡𝗮𝗴𝗮𝘀𝗶 (@moe_nagasi ) and 𝗗𝗺𝘆𝘁𝗿𝗼 𝗙𝗶𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗼𝘃 (@_dmytrofilatov ).

This is a live recording of their collaborative set at the MusicMakers Hacklab project, which was a part of the CTM Festival (@ctmfestival) in Berlin.

Moe Nagasi is an alias of Valeriia Khazan – a triple-threat composer/producer, DJ, and violinist. Hailing from Donbas, Ukraine, the artist is now based in Berlin. She’s the rare violinist who can juggle her instrument and CDJs or synthesizers, creating new sonic visions, an accomplished improviser with a sharp ear. Valeriia showcases her musical talent by contributing to the film scores, and her versatility extends to smaller projects, including music for dance performances, live shows, and podcasts like “Oramics”, “Widows Radio”, and RBL Radio.

Dmytro Filatov is a child of one of the industrial hearts of Donetsk region –
Kramatorsk, Ukraine. Dmytro balances on the edge between being a promoter, cultural, event manager and experimental music producer and performer. Dmytro`s main musical project is an audio-visual duo HUGGEN LUFT. Besides this, Dmytro Filatov exists like a solo and collaborative act.

In 2021, in the midst of pandemic restrictions on gathering and travel, we held the MusicMakers Hacklab entirely online – you can read about that experience and what we learned in tooling and collaborative practice in the report here on CDM with video and an extended essay I wrote for CTM Magazine (with links). Ivan Skoryna from Kyiv was unable to make the trip to Berlin because of wartime travel rules, so participated remotely with the others in 2024.

They did complete an audiovisual work to be shown live in front of CTM’s audience, and it’s a scorching track and visual experience. (Warning – features fast-moving and blinking images.) I also have to admit I had no idea before seeing this what goes on inside a kangaroo’s pouch. This is like Nine Inch Nails meets David Attenborough and – all of this is natural and no animals were harmed. Awesome. слава кенгуру!

Even in the midst of war, Ukraine’s experimental scene continues. That requires obviously a certain amount of stability – I can say that of Lebanon and the West Bank but not Gaza or Sudan. But these were also scenes I followed before the events of 2022-2024; I look forward to just writing about them without having to frame the wartime situations around them.

And it’s well worth checking out Ivan’s other work. They’re an exceptional, dynamic live artist. This is an older film – I’d love to see them live – but gives you some of that energy:

Audio only, but here’s some 2023 black ambient:

And you can listen to Ivan talk frankly, from their first-hand perspective inside the country, about music and politics and how to face the world in the wake of war crimes and injustice. That’s a message and honesty that I think resonates everywhere now.

You can also read that QA:

Cxemcast 089 – Ivan Skoryna

By the way, for more experimental Ukrainian action, Moe Nagasi did a mix for us on CDM:

And you can listen to Valeriia as a guest joining my program POST on Refuge Worldwide, too:

Plus if you’re in Berlin this weekend, Dmytro has put together an extraordinary program for Sunday evening at Panke:

The sound continues…