Balaklava Blues

Falling somewhere between a traditional song cycle and a full blown multimedia techno show, Balaklava Blues experiments with Ukrainian polyphony and other folk traditions.

Mark and Marichka Marczyk met and fell in love in 2014 during the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Their experiences of war coupled with their unique knowledge of the polyphonic blues of the Ukrainian plains exploded into an ethno-bass live set in which the duo sang live to original EDM, trap, trance and electro-pop influenced tracks. The astounding vocals are accompanied by equally compelling documentary footage from the front lines of the war, black and white archival material from the same region, and popular Soviet cartoons.

Ukrainian traditional music reflects the experience of the tragedy of war over the course of the past thousand years. The band draws on that beautiful expression of tragedy and the more recent collective experience and tries to make it a source of strength and unity for others.

As for the band’s name, balaclavas have been part of the Ukrainian zeitgeist since the 2014 revolution. They’re meant to conceal, but when the band üut them on they feel more exposed and vulnerable. Balaclavas hide the face, but they expose the soul.


2016 Amnesty International’s Freedom of Speech Award
2016 Fringe First Award
2021 Stingray Award




One of the most innovative and emotionally powerful projects on the European music scene.
Charismatic, handsome, ambitious

New York Times

gorgeously sung and passionately played… an evocation of human solidarity

The Guardian

An earnest and engaging reflection on post-traumatic stress and the attempts we make to move forward.

CBC Arts

A set of track contradictions to spark you mind and move your feet; creators Make and Marichka Marczyk sing seemingly carefree melodies to poppy techno beats worthy of PC music, as startling visuals of missiles being loaded and machine guns being fired are projected behind them.

Latitude Review