kazka ukraine

Ukrainian Band Closes SXSW With Protest, Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War’

Oleksandra Zaritska — colloquially often called Sasha — doesn’t represent the entire of Kazka, but she’s the one member of the Ukrainian electronic-folk band who was capable of attend the band’s 2022 showcase at SXSW. Like so a lot of her friends, this look was a do-over for the scrapped yr of 2020, the yr…

Oleksandra Zaritska — colloquially often called Sasha — doesn’t represent the entire of Kazka, but she’s the one member of the Ukrainian electronic-folk band who was capable of attend the band’s 2022 showcase at SXSW. Like so a lot of her friends, this look was a do-over for the scrapped yr of 2020, the yr SXSW shuttered as a result of onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two years later, Kazka discovered themselves caught within the slipstream of one other disaster: Russia’s unprovoked struggle with Ukraine. Zaritska’s bandmates have been both sure by Ukrainian legislation to remain and battle of their nation’s struggle — any male over 18 is obligated to serve — or selected to stay as a volunteer. Flying on her personal, Zaritska wound up embraced by the Austin musical group, beginning with the Texas Music Workplace who helped current the “Austin Stands with Ukraine” showcase on the Speakeasy on Congress throughout SXSW.

Only a few acts on the invoice had a direct connection to Ukraine — the Ghost Wolves, a dynamic garage-rock duo performing simply previous to Kazka, channeled the primitive fury of the White Stripes, including a manic power endemic to Austin’s punk underground — however there was an understood solidarity with the embattled European nation, a sentiment typically rallied by statements on the stage or simply seen by attendees sporting the Ukrainian flag as a poncho or just branding stickers proclaiming “Fuck Putin.”

This overt sense of group crystallized within the assist given to Zaritska. This closing-night gig wound up being the principle focus of her time in Austin, after journey delays diminished Kazka’s scheduled spot on the worldwide day stage on the Austin Conference Heart.

Zaritska wound up with an eclectic group of native musicians as assist: guitarist Bryan Ray, who performed with Dave Brubeck on the outset of his profession and works often as a producer and mixer; acoustic guitarist Gary Heimbauer, the founding father of Pow Music, a corporation that assists rising musicians; bassist Ryan Hager, a jazz bassist pursuing a doctorate of music on the College of Texas Butler College of Music; drummer Charlie Harper, an Austin-based grasp of all musical trades who has labored with everyone from The 1975 to Tove Lo.

Again residence, Kazka racked up a major variety of performs, however within the US, they exist on the identical aircraft as so many non-Western acts: they’re primarily unknown. Sasha used that unfamiliarity to her benefit, assisted by the truth that some folks within the viewers knew Kazka’s music. “Cry” impressed a name and response from a portion of the group and Zaritska made certain to maintain the plight of Ukraine on the forefront of the minds of the viewers.

Her message was strengthened by her magnetism as a performer. Sasha slinked into the group, she swayed and sashayed, the emotional that means of her music clear for everybody who didn’t converse her similar language. Zaritska did deal with the viewers in English, imploring the attendees that “You may cease this struggle. Use your voice. Be part of the rallies so it’s not simply Ukrainians who go there,” encouraging attendance tomorrow on the Texas Capitol.

Zaritska’s set at SXSW reached its crescendo when native legend Charlie Sexton, a guitarist who served as Bob Dylan’s common lieutenant because the daybreak of the twenty first Century, joined the singer for a pointed finale. Simply previous to Sexton strolling on stage she mentioned “I’ve a message to Putin: It’s a track from Bob Dylan and its title is ‘Masters of Warfare.’” Sasha seemed to Charlie for her cue into the track, as she solely remembered its message and intent. The lyrics couldn’t assist however resonate, and given how she has family members and colleagues in Kiev, it’s not laborious to think about who Zaritska sung these phrase to:

And I hope that you simply die
And your demise will come quickly
I’ll comply with your casket
By the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch whilst you’re lowered
All the way down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m certain that you simply’re useless

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