Release: 7 March 2022
Ukraine-based electronic producer 6TH CROWD (a.k.a. Dari Maksymova) presents her new single ‘Sokolonko’, inspired by an old harvest song. This is the first offering from the album ‘Step’ (the Ukrainian word for Steppe), which she was working on when Russia invaded Ukraine, turning the country into a war zone.
“This is a Ukrainian song from Donbas, my dear home region, which Russia is tearing apart right now. I didn’t know if I’d have a chance to do it later. In my research, as I learned more about folk Ukrainian music, I noticed that modern culture has plenty of references to music from western and central parts of my country, but nothing from the east. Nothing from my home. Culturally it simply didn’t exist. So I decided I wanted to change that balance and bring songs from East Ukraine back to life, to remind myself and everyone that Donbas is a historical part of Ukraine, no matter how badly Putin wants to destroy it,” says Dari Maksymova.
“If people don’t remember their own history, someone can rewrite it for them. And then come with guns to “defend” Russian people in Ukraine, Moldova, or Serbia.”
In 2020, 6TH CROWD emerged on the electronic music scene with her debut ‘Avoid The Void’ EP, which addressed certain issues regarding the newfound COVID-19 situation, social distancing, lockdown and quarantines. In 2021, she released the ‘What Happened’ EP via French label 50 Degrees North Recordings on the trail of 2020 singles 1312′ and ‘Не вивожу (Ne Vyvozhu)’.
“Over a week ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, shelling cities and killing hundreds of civilians. The Russian president calls it a “special operation” for “saving Russian-speaking people.” A more accurate term for it is “war”. And even more accurately is the intention behind this war: Russification, and Russification is cultural genocide. It’s clear that the ancient Greeks don’t exist, but we know of them because their cultural artifacts have been preserved. In the absence of their books, literature and artwork, we wouldn’t otherwise know anything about them as a people. Their history would simply cease to exist. That’s the goal of Russification – to remove all of the distinct and unique ethnic histories and merge them into one,” says Dari Maksymova.
“When Communists gathered different nations under the umbrella of the USSR, they desperately needed to rewrite history. They needed everyone to share the same bland fake ethnicity, they needed people to forget their roots. So people would never get second thoughts about belonging to ‘the great empire”, never question orders and the party line. While, in newly-built cities, their Russification program was going pretty well, people in villages continued to be a real pain in the ass. They lived and worked far from centralized sources of information and relied on the government very little… and didn’t rush to become Soviet people. Yes, they lived in the Soviet Union and yes, they worked in Soviet fields, but one thing they did that drove the Russians crazy: the villagers spoke Ukrainian and sang their own songs.”
She adds: “Before people had Spotify, they sang to themselves – while working in fields, while fighting, getting married… they sang all the time. Those songs passed from one to another, along with very important information about people. What language they spoke, what they believed, what they hoped, who their heroes were. Songs from people are also songs about people.”
You can support 6TH CROWD by downloading this single, available via Bandcamp and Apple Music, who will donate proceeds to Vostok SOS, whose humanitarian campaign includes helping people evacuate and providing humanitarian aid and psychosocial support, with hotlines for affected people and a team on the ground in the region, coordinating aid.
You can also add this song to your Spotify playlists. But the most important thing right now is to support Ukraine. You can donate to humanitarian missions, directly to the army, spread awareness about this ugly war, and join demonstrations in your city. There are also many other ways you can help Ukraine now and numerous options for supporting humanitarian aid efforts in the region.
Lyrics: the Ukrainian people
Arrangement, performance, recording & mixing: 6TH CROWD
Mastering: Alexander Pavlenko (Sunchase)
Photography by Tetiana Shlapachok and Daria Kulnina
6TH CROWD – Sokolonko
6TH CROWD – You’re Not An Island
6th CROWD – The Day Is Over