Braty Hadyukini

Braty Hadyukini (Брати Гадюкiни) is one of the most beloved Ukrainian bands from the close of the Soviet era. Their combining of rock, punk, funk, reggae, and blues with local Galician musical traditions and their willingness to experiment with the boundaries of genre has made a significant impact on the musical landscape of Ukraine. Similarly, the presence of the Surzhyk language (an amalgam of Russian and Ukrainian that has a tendency to skirt standard grammatical rules and mix lexical elements) in frontman Sergiy Kuzminskiy’s (Сергій Кузьмінський) lyrics complements the group’s approach to composition in general. Although the band took a decadelong hiatus—from 1996 to 2006—and suffered the premature death of Kuzminsky in 2009, Braty Hadyukini nonetheless regrouped and recorded their fifth studio album, Made in Ukraine (no Ukrainian name), in 2014.

The band’s first major performance occurred at the Cheese–89 (Сырок–89) festival in Moscow in 1989. The same year would see the release of the group’s first album, Всьо Чотко, and a second-place finish at the Red Route (Червона рута) festival in Chernivtsi. Prior to the band’s hiatus in 1996, they released two more full-length records and toured extensively throughout Ukraine, parts of Russia, Belgium, and Canada. The consistent touring, however, appears to have taken a toll on the group, with several members pursuing other projects or careers. In 1994 Kuzminskiy also checked himself into a drug addiction treatment center in Belgium. All these factors undoubtedly contributed to the Braty Hadiukiny’s silent decade.

Despite the band’s lack of activity, demands for their music nonetheless continued. In 2000, the label Rostok Records released an album, To! Alive!, consisting of live performances of the group from 1994–1995. The label also reissued their earlier records. In 2006, the band finally reunited for a concert at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, filling the stadium with 15,000 excited fans.

Sadly, Kuzminskiy passed away after a sustained battle with throat cancer in 2009. His life and contribution to Ukrainian music would be honored two years later at another concert at the Olympic Stadium, bringing together many notable Ukrainian artists, including Okean Elzi, Boombox, and many others. The concert was such a success that the remaining members decided in 2013 to revive the band. And though Kuzminskiy was irreplaceable, even without him the album Made in Ukraine was lauded by critics as one of the finest releases of 2014.

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A newer video for the song “Всьо Чотко” from their first album by the same name:

 

Lyrics for “Всьо Чотко”:

Кохана, я з далека бачу
Кохана, писок твій червоний
Кохана, трохи я сі тащу

Кохана, випив ацетони

Чуваки, всьо чотко
Чуваки, гей дана-дана
Чуваки, всьо чотко
Чуваки, гей дана-дана
Чуваки, всьо чотко
Чуваки, гей джига-джига
Чуваки, всьо чотко
Чуваки, гей бугі-мугі, є

Я видів, же на краківськім базарі
Жиди файні мешти продавали
Я хтів би с, аби ти мала такі самі
То врешті ми з тобов сі змільдували

Ява триста пєдесята
Блистит, як в собаки яйця
Стою я під твоєю хатов
Виходь, поїдемо на танці

 

Video for the group’s newest single, “History of a Whore” (“Історія однієї Курви”):

 

The lyrics for this song are not available.

 

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Michael Filitis is a recent MA graduate from the University of Chicago where he concentrated on early Soviet nationalities policy, propaganda, and the rise of nationalism in Eastern Europe. A recipient of SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship his current focus is the improvement of his Russian language skills with the goal of pursuing a Phd in Russian history and political science. Outside of academia, he enjoys playing and composing music, eating to excess, movies about space, and contemplating a more active lifestyle.