When artist and director Yarema Malashchuk, now 25, visited a rave party in Kyiv back in 2013, it was a gathering of about 100 people dancing in a rather small club.
Since then, Ukrainian raves, dance music parties held at different locations with minimalistic furnishings, have grown into a major movement, with one of the biggest parties, Cxema (pronounced “Skhema”), gathering thousands of partygoers. The next Cxema will take place at the Dovzhenko Film Studio on July 14.
The organizers refused to give any other details to the Kyiv Post. Malashchuk says that what makes Cxema is the people on the dance floor, rather than the venue.
“There is no incomprehensible decor — everything is very minimalistic, with a complete focus on rave,” he says, comparing the party to a social movement with no marginalization, and no putting labels on people.
Another frequent Cxema participant is 37-year-old Sergii Leshchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker with the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko faction in parliament. “The mass character of this event, the spirit of unity and the young audience make it unique for modern Europe, and for many people Cxema is a reference to the raves of 1990 held in Berlin and Manchester,” he says. “In fact, Europe now recognizes itself in Ukrainians.”
More than a party Originally, rave culture appeared in Ukraine in the form of closed underground parties, held in garages, hangars, and small clubs, mainly for people who knew each other.
Cxema was first organized by Ukrainian DJ Slava Lepsheev in 2014, after the EuroMaidan Revolution ousted President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014.
The party soon became one of the biggest raves in Kyiv. According to Malashchuk, the timing mattered. “People usually wonder how the EuroMaidan Revolution could affect the nightlife of Kyiv and boost the rave culture, but it did, as people got rid of their complexes,” Malashchuk says
Malashchuk, together with his friend, also a director, 26-year-old Roman Himey, decided to film a movie about Cxema during its last party on April 21.
The film is yet to be released, but it reflects the mystery of the event, they say. The atmosphere at Cxema is also one of tolerance and mutual respect among the dancers, according to Malashchuk. “The organization of Cxema is done at a very high cultural level.
When we were making the movie there, and someone accidentally touched somebody, there was no aggression, everyone immediately apologized. This is what we need to show the older generation,” Malashchuk says.
Roman Paramonov, a 20-year-old student at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, plans to attend the next Cxema rave. Having attended five rave parties since 2015, and written a term paper on social origins of rave culture in Ukraine, Paramonov believes that rave is not only about a style of music or clothes. “This is about people’s hedonistic state of mind, and a chance to escape reality.”
Cxema. Dovzhenko Film Studio. 44 Peremohy Ave. July 14. 10 p. m. — 10 a. m. Hr 340–450. The lineup includes such DJs as N.M.O, Via App, Konakov, Voin Oruwu, Aleksei Podat and others.
Here’s some upcoming techno parties in Kyiv:
Katacult night 1
German DJ Normal 4 and French DJ Myn will play various types of electronic and techno music at Katacult night 1. Together with DJ Normal 4 and Myn, Ukrainian DJs Vero and Bejenec will perform during the night.
Katacult night 1. Plivka Art Center. 1 Vasylkivska St. July 21–22. 11 p. m. — 10 a. m. Hr 280–330
Rhythm Büro — Field Records
Future History Rhythm Büro arranges techno music performances by Field Records leaders such as AHPR & Sébastien, together with Delta Funktionen, Artefakt and Szare. The number of tickets is limited.
Rhythm Büro — Field Records: Future History. 86 Kyrylivska St. September 8–9. 11:50 p. m. — 9 a. m. Hr 399–700
Riot Division X R&S Records
Plivka Art Center together with event sponsors Riot Division are throwing a party for all techno music fans. The lineup includes such DJs as Dj Oil, a true veteran of the underground music scene, together with Renaat Vandepapeliere and Ada Kaleh. Early bird tickets are now available for purchase.
Riot Division X R&S Records. Plivka Art Center. 1 Vasylkivska St. October 6–7. 11 p. m. — 9 a. m. Hr 240–450