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onuka byIrynaKalenska36Knust, Hamburg, Germany
12th May 2024
Onuka - “Room - European Tour 2024”

On Friday, 12th May 2024, Ukrainian Electro-Folk band ONUKA performed in Hamburger’s Knust, presenting their new album ‘Room’. From the first days of the full-scale invasion to the present day, ONUKA has remained and continued to work in Ukraine. Like thousands of Ukrainians, the band draws attention to the war, raises funds to rebuild destroyed homes, and supports humanitarian programs in the country.

ONUKA is a joint project of the famous Ukrainian sound producer and musician Eugene Filatov (THE MANEKEN) and Nata Zhyzhchenko (former vocalist of TOMATO JAWS and KOOQLA). The first single of ONUKA was released in 2013. In the fall of 2014, Nata and Eugene presented the debut album ‘Onuka’. It includes the hits-songs ‘Look’, ‘When I Met You’, ‘Time’, and ‘Misto’. In the winter of 2016, ONUKA announced the launch of their own label Vidlik. The first release of the label became the same name titled 5-track EP. ‘Room’ is the fourth musical album of the band, each song of which is dedicated to the special issues faced by Ukrainians today in the conditions of war, to emotions and situations in which Ukrainians found themselves. The signature sound of ONUKA is an organic mix of Electronica, modern Pop music, and Ukrainian Folk instruments. ONUKA performed with the NAONI Folk orchestra as the interval act at the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, on 13 May 2017. Their performance was seen by an immense number of over 180 million viewers.

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Music & Performance
More than 20 years ago, a little girl Nata Zhyzhchenko performed with a flute in front of a large orchestra and conquered the philharmonic halls, and now she is conquering audiences in the trendiest clubs in Ukraine and Europe, at the most influential festivals around the world with the same wooden flute. Nata is the granddaughter and heiress of the famous Ukrainian master of Folk instruments, Oleksandr Shlyonchyk. The grandfather gave little Nata a flute he had made for her, an instrument that became a guide in the young girl’s life and later determined the main meanings and sound of her music. By the way, ONUKA in Ukrainian means “granddaughter”. And it is the folk instruments such as bandura, drymba, cymbal, trembita, flute that have become the main feature of ONUKA. And Nata’s voice is here as a connecting element with reality, making you believe in a strange eclectic harmony of electronic and traditional musical components.

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This Friday night was really special because ONUKA as an important part of the soul of the Ukrainian nation, namely its Folk music part, came to visit us here in Hamburg. But it’s not just a guest visit, ONUKA has an important mission - we Ukrainians want and need to be heard, free and independent, as we were before the 24th of February 2022, the day that divided our lives into “before” and “after”. “I hope and believe that each listen to our music brings us closer to victory, both indirectly and literally, because music unites, music heals, music saves, music gives and music triumphs” Nata Zhyzhchenko states. With the efforts of represented by Olexiy Parparov, the organisation of the concert was successful. There were a lot of fans not only from Ukraine, but also from different European countries and even USA. The atmosphere of the concert was certainly in the spirit of the energetic, life-affirming song ‘Peremoha.’

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After all, ONUKA’s concert is such a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and fears about the war with each other, as well as to support and inspire hope that black is always followed by white. And the soul of the nation, it is here and now and unites us all, even if today under one roof of the club Knust, but we know that truth will win. My favourites of the evening were ‘Xashi‘ from the album KOLIR 2018, ‘Vidlik’ from the same-titled album ‘Vidlik’ from 2016 and, of course, ‘Peremoha’ from the new album ‘Room’.

01. Intro
02. Golos
03. Zavtra
04. Ozerna
05. Sama
06. Animal
07. Znaiu
08. Lina
09. Vdoma
10. Uyavy
11. Peremoha
12. Zenit
13. 30 km
14. Siren
15. Vidlik
16. Misto
17. Dusha narodu
18. Time
19. Xashi
20. Guma
21. Zenit
22. Peremoha

Music: 10
Performance: 10
Light: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 9.3 / 10

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All Pictures by Iryna Kalenska

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