Dakhabrakha | Mayne Stage | International | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Sun., Aug. 24, 6 & 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $25-$40
Dakhabrakha got its start a decade ago in Kiev’s experimental-theater scene, and the three women who front this Ukrainian art-folk group have an assured, dramatic stage presence—they favor white wedding dresses and black lamb-fleece hats that extend their height a good foot and a half. When I first heard recordings of Dakhabrakha, the piercing close-harmony singing—a style closely identified with the folkloric traditions of Eastern Europe—hit me hardest. But when I saw the group perform this past January in New York, I realized there was more to its game. Various Carpathian threads intertwine with dub, electronic music, and even African grooves, and the band accomplishes this energetic, moody fusion almost entirely with acoustic instruments—mostly melancholy cello, woozy accordion, twangy jaw harp, and loose percussion. (All three women play as well as sing, aided by a fourth member who stays out of the spotlight.) The group’s latest album, Light (Shugar Studio), includes borderline rapping on “Karpatskiy Rep,” a taut funk vibe on “Tjolky,” and delicate, dreamy pop on “Kolyskova,” but Ukrainian traditional music always remains the bedrock. Dakhabrakha packs surprising power live, as the women complement their striking look with an engrossing, almost hypnotizing focus. —Peter Margasak
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