This week, Ukraine’s alternative community, the very same one currently ducking and weaving bullets and artillery, has united to further demonstrate their resolve to the West, while also giving us an opportunity to help – even from the other side of the world.
Released on Bandcamp, The МА|ПА Project (slang for Mum and Dad, though more appropriately read as Our Country, Our Family) is a compilation featuring a a hefy crowd – 48 in total – of Ukrainian punks, metal heads, shredders, rappers, doomwavers and more spread across two volumes, currently sitting at a highly agreeable $5 US (About $6.70 for those reading from Australia), with all funds raised going to help those risking their lives on the frontlines of the ongoing Russian invasion, both volunteers and defense force members.
Says the project description on Bandcamp, “The МА|ПА Project (series of interviews with representatives of the Ukrainian underground scene) is a charity compilation aimed at supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Hardcore, death metal, rap, screamo and a bunch of other genres from 48 Ukrainian artists have come together for the common goal – to bring Ukraine closer to victory in this war against russia. Tracks by Wild Weed, Обрій, Двобій, Complete, Castalarial and Flame were released for the first time in this compilation.”
Though The МА|ПА Project features singles from a plethora of subgenres there’s a universality within the tracks that creates an undeniable singularity – one of urgent and unrelenting resistance. The МА|ПА Project isn’t here to fuck around. Featuring bands such as Dead Putin, Raw Grip, and True Tough, as well as tracks such as Death Pills ‘Die In Vietnam” or Concrete Control’s ‘WAR’, both volumes of the compilation are as demanding and important as music gets.
“The original goal was to show our free, diverse and independent scene. These compilations are a drop of what we have. Everyone participated in this completely – We are all united for a common cause!” The compilation’s organisers, Neformat Family, elaborated to BLUNT.
“Unfortunately, today there’s war in our country and civilians are dying and cities are suffering. Many have lost their loved ones. We want to raise some part of the money for Zbroini syly Ukrainy (ZSU – The Armed Forces of Ukraine) through Come Back Alive. It seems to me, as musicians, this is the minimum that we can do for freedom in our country.”
The global alternative community was quick to show it’s support for the embattled Ukrainian people. Charity singles, merch – The Acacia Strain fans alone raised more than $60,000 – as well as more heavy handed BDS tactics including canceling shows in the region, have all created a wall of noise worthy of the music.
Faced with uncertainty whether they stay or leave, those on the ground in Ukraine are left with few options for resistance other than what’s within arms length. Local punks Complete, who previously guided BLUNT through the scene in their city, took that as an opportunity to get to work, recording and releasing The Final Act, a stirring anti-war anthem specifically for the compilation.
“To be clear, we live in one of the safest cities in Ukraine for now.” Complete’s Nazar Nazaruk tells BLUNT. “It’s situated 1,000 km from Russia but we’ve been shelled 3 times far away. Bombs were dropped on the military base which is a few hundred meters from my home, hence I don’t think that there is really a safe place in Ukraine…”
“Everyday we have air raid alerts, most of them early in the morning. You’re not allowed to go out between 10pm and 7am. Thousands of refugees come to our city every day but there are no apartments left to host them. I receive calls and messages from people who need shelter almost every day. After the hardest and scariest first days I began to do something not to go crazy. I am a videographer so I decided to capture everything I can despite the prohibition, especially volunteers – big and small foundations and single activists.”
“For now I have filmed 4 short documentaries (one of them has been published). As I have shot from a gun once in my whole life, my skills in video shooting is my weapon. I think everyone has to do what he/she does the best. That’s what we do as a punk band Complete! We recorded a new song The Final Act for the compilation of Ukrainian underground music. This money will be donated to help our volunteers; many on the frontlines…
“We are in the back but who knows, maybe our turn will come.”You can preview and purchase The МА|ПА Project Vol I and II directly from Bandcamp below.