DakhaBrakha is a world-music quartet from Kiev. Reflecting fundamental elements of sound and soul, this Ukrainian “ethnic chaos” band creates a world of unexpected new music. The name DakhaBrakha is original, outstanding, and authentic at the same time. It means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language.
DakhaBrakha was created in 2004 at Kiev’s Center for Contemporary Art by the avant-garde theater director Vladyslav Troitskyi. Theatricality has left its mark on the band’s performances; their shows have never been staged without dramatic effect.
Having experimented with Ukrainian folk music, the band has added rhythms of the surrounding world into their music, creating a bright, unique, and unforgettable sound. Their goal is to open up the potential of Ukrainian melodies and to bring them to the hearts and consciousness of the younger generation in Ukraine and the rest of the world.
Accompanied by Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian traditional instrumentation, the quartet’s astonishingly powerful and uncompromising vocal range creates a transnational sound rooted in Ukrainian culture. Working at the crossroads of Ukrainian folklore and theater, their music ranges from intimate to riotous, plumbing the depths of contemporary roots and rhythms and inspiring “cultural and artistic liberation.”
DakhaBrakha has played concerts and taken part in numerous international festivals across the world. In 2010, the band won one of the most prestigious prizes in modern music and arts at the Sergey . In 2011, DakhaBrakha was “discovered” at Australian WOMAdelaide, an annual festival of music, arts, and dance, and thus began their ascent in the international music scene.
That mesh of ancient and contemporary is DakhaBrakha’s mission. DakhaBrakha—which means give-take in old Ukrainian—has researched rural folk songs across Ukraine, then reshaped them: first as the house band for a theater company in Kiev, and now on the international circuit.
—New York Times
The group mixes everything from punk-pop to traditional Ukrainian songs in cool yet beguiling textures, often with the close harmonies usually associated with Balkan music. But it’s really the live shows that take DakhaBrakha beyond mere curiosity to utter brilliance.