Lyuk / Люк

Published: December 7, 2016

Lyuk (Люк; translates to “manhole” in Russian, but the members said they just liked how it sounded) was a Ukrainian rock and rock-adjacent band that broke up in 2011. They’re also affiliated with the genres of punk, acid jazz, lounge, funk, hip-hop, and a bunch of others—the band members themselves have had a hard time defining exactly what it is that they did. The golden composition of the band was Olga Gerasimova (Ольга Герасимова; vocals), Oleg Serdyuk (Олег Сердюк; keyboards and electronic drums), Sergiy Belmas (Сергій Бельмас; bass guitar), Valentin Panyuta (Валентин Панюта; guitar), and Oleksandr Kratinov (Олександр Кратінов; drums).

Lyuk was founded in 1999 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. They released their first album, Spring (Пружина), that same year, but they didn’t garner much attention until 2000, when they not only released their second, eponymous, album but also took first place in the alternative music category of the well-known Red Rue Festival in Ukraine. This early history is often overlooked, though, as Olga Gerasimova did not join the band until 2000—the first two albums were recorded under a different vocalist, but Gerasimova later became the face of the band.

The band’s focus and popularity began to change after Gerasimova joined. The group started a collaboration with Sergey Zhadan (Сергій Жадан), who could today be considered Ukraine’s national poet of sorts, such is his popularity. Lyuk performed the music for the musical Merry Christmas, Jesus Christ, for which Zhadan wrote the libretto. They took the musical all over Ukraine, and recorded an album, Tourist Zone, based on it, though they had bureaucratic issues with its release.

Over the next few years, the band released a few more albums. They collaborated with a number of up-and-coming artists, most notably Andrey Zaporozhets (Андрей Запорожец), of 5’nizza fame, on their 2004 album Lemon, which drastically increased their popularity—mostly in Russia, though, rather than Ukraine, where they thought the musical scene was more limited. They released their fourth and final album, Mama’s Youth (Мамина юность), in 2009, and then broke up two years later, citing different ideas about the band’s future direction.

Find Lyuk on Amazon


“Sakhalin” (“Сахалiн”), from their 2005 album:


Lyrics for “Сахалiн”:

Ні про що твої записки і слова
Плани вулиць і квартир
Поміж нами проплива
Сонний радіоефір
Сонний радіоефір

І цей небесний Сахалін
Мов пластилін в моїх руках
Над однією із країн
Твій теплий голос
Злітає наче птах

Літаки, нічні торпеди й кораблі
Де ти нині – поясни
Всі пасажири на землі
Так далеко до весни
Так далеко до весни


Несинхронна я-я
Недобудована стіна
Починай давай шукай мою межу
І ще ніхто про це не зна
І тільки я тобі скажу
Тільки я тобі скажу


“Mithun Chakraborty” (“Митхун Чакраборти”), 2009, with the participation of Anton Slepakov (Антон Слєпаков):


Lyrics for “Митхун Чакраборти”:

Он ничего не делал,
он просто плыл по садовому озеру
из Калькутты в Бомбей
Был статным, красивым, всех смелей и храбрей
Пули летели мимо, в него не попадали
Килограммы грима по всей Бенгалии
Были собраны и везлись оттуда –
Всё для разватия Болливуда!
Без страха, упрека и безусловно без риска,
Хотя бы немного популяризировать Диско
Бороться со злом, все в этом мире безумно
Всё, кроме имени Чакраборти Митхуна!

обними меня мой Митхун Чакроборти
первый как всегда на работе и в спорте
твой профиль на торте
[затяни во мне расшатавшийся болтик] забери меня мой Митхун Чакроборти
все как всегда и вроде как на месте
но в этой жизни мы опять не вместе
твой верный слон души в тебе не чает
а мой опять молчит на пачке чая

ууу ты в плену
а я на показе
ууу почему
мы в противофазе

ууу без тебя
ууу не с тобою
ууу позвоню
ууу сама открою

завтрак в постель тебе добавит силы
когда на подвиг ты уйдешь, мой милый
я все решила, даже и не спорьте
буду теперь я Олей Чакраборти


Find Lyuk on Amazon


About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Art and Museums in Russia

View all posts by: Julie Hersh