New Voices Ukraine Podcast: 20ft Radio’s Guide to the Ukrainian Underground. Memory Leaks, Part I

In the first podcast from Kyiv's 20ft Radio, we're taken deep into the otherworldly folk sounds of the Ukrainian underground of the late 80s and early 90s. New Voices Ukraine is a collaboration between The Quietus, 20ft Radio, Neformat, the Ukrainian Institute and the British Council.

In an interview with Andrii Strakhov, member of the avant-folk band  Верба Хльос (Verba Hlios), we explore the early days of Ukrainian independent music, focusing on Цукор Біла Смерть (Sugar White Death), Олександр Юрченко (Oleksandr Yurchenko), and the avant-garde scene in Kyiv and its surroundings in the late 1980s and early 1990s. You can listen via the player below or by subscribing to tQ’s podcast feed here. The Ukrainian version is available at 20ft Radio’s Soundcloud.

20ft Radio is an independent broadcasting station founded in December 2016 by a team of music enthusiasts. Since that time the station has been broadcasting from a port transport container, currently located in a small garden of a former brewery in Podil distinct, Kyiv.

The radio station normally showcases the local Ukrainian electronic scene – DJs, selectors and live performers, but also takes care to engage with independent artists and other independent radio stations from all over the world, to represent the entire spectrum and diversity of electronic, and other, music. 

Following the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022, 20ft Radio ran an international project Grains of Peace. The aim was to bring international attention to the ongoing war, fundraise, and create a special media channel that would play a therapeutic role. The station involved more than fifty artists from Ukraine and from around the world and streamed these shows over seventeen radio stations. 

20ft Radio’s contribution to Альтернативи: New voices Ukraine is a joint project called Memory Leaks: The Story of Ukrainian Indie, Underground and Beyond. This is a podcast series (and a longread article) that will highlight the compelling history of the Ukrainian independent music scene through the concept of memory as an elusive, yet valuable source of knowledge. 

Memory Leaks… explores the scene’s development and establishment, tracing the ways in which the bedroom avant-garde of the early 90s transformed into the electronic cross-genre experiments of today.

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