Mamanet

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Creado el: 4 Ene 2008
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This group dedicated to Mamanet, a Trip-Hop/Acid-Jazz/Live Electronics band from Ukraine

Mamanet: Ukrainian Jazz Does It Again
by David MacFadyen

Mamanet are from Ukraine, specifically from the town of Kramatorsk in the eastern part of the country. The band has only been in existence for four years, but is already widely respected for its live displays of electronic jazz. The band members pride themselves on those shows: across Mamanet’s many websites or online community profiles there are virtually no studio shots - almost all the photographs document Mamanet both together and on stage.
The reason for this emphasis, all financial logic aside, is that improvisation remains at the very core of Mamanet’s raison d’etre: “It’s pretty boring sticking to just one genre, so the music will go from trip-hop into disco - then from drum & bass to lounge!”
Given that Mamanet are a foursome - a very traditional arrangement of drummer, bassist, and two guitarists - they frequently joke that they’re mistaken for a rock or post-rock ensemble, at least before they turn the amps on. The one western parallel they invoke most often in order to lessen these misconceptions is with Hammersmith’s Red Snapper, given the English outfit’s equal willingness to mix jazz with breaks, hip-hop, and other non-canonical styles.
When pressed to be more specific about these possible overlaps, Manamet’s members say the following: “Our music is charged with energy. We’ve got a vigorous, lively, and complex kind of sound; there’s not as much of a rock influence in there… but then there’s more indie, trip-hop, and dub than you’d expect!” This isn’t a style, it’s a relationship between them.
It’s not a goal, but a process. Hence the preference for live work.
The fact that Mamanet play almost exclusively instrumental works is something else that makes the slipping and sliding between genres a little easier. They needn’t worry about themes or terminology that are associated with a given style. This kind of decision-making or performative statement puts them somewhere in the region of nu-jazz, maybe in the realm of St Germain orSquarepusher.
A fair amount of Russian and Ukrainian downtempo outfits already resort to jazz motifs, thus strengthening the parallels with nu-jazz in the US and UK. Nonetheless, there are also some locally specific or unique significances here. The most important of these is related to the way in which St Petersburg’s Nu-Jazz Festival once defined itself.
Taking a quote from one American scholar, the festival PR declared that “nu-jazz is to [traditional] jazz what punk or grunge was to rock. It makes jazz fun again.” According to that logic, Mamanet see their genre-jumping in terms of subversion.
This makes perfect sense: it allows us to add that idea to what was said a couple of days ago on this site about “format,” a term now used in the Russian language to define the strict, conservative, and MOR aesthetic so willingly adopted by TV stations and national radio. Mamanet therefore offer two clear alternatives to the sameness of primetime media: keep changing generically, and improvise as much as possible.
The one Soviet city most clearly associated with jazz was Ukrainian: Odessa. Some of the resort’s most famous musicians, such as Leonid Utesov, would claim in their autobiographies that Odessa was the “motherland of Soviet jazz,” or - in a rather silly vein - that the same port was in fact the originator of all jazz, not New Orleans!
The reason for such extreme contentions was that jazz in the USSR remained a musical form to express sympathy both for society’s downtrodden and their ability to verbalize “change.” Despite his cocky attempt to displace or outdo New Orleans, Utesov and others knew that the American Black jazz heritage turned unexpected improvisations and metamorphoses into tools of subversion when they came from the lips of society’s lowest members.
The authorities knew as much, too, and therefore created their own type of “format” after WWII, when most of Ukrainian jazz was channeled into Big Bands. Improvisation and social critique stopped still.
We’re hardly in the same state today, but the forces of mainstream media are no less pervasive. In avoidance of that entropy, Mamanet continue to shift between unrelated venues, such as Kazantip - “the ultimate rave republic!” - and the Koktebel Jazz Festival. Staying still is not an option. Russia’s Rolling Stonerecently said of Mamanet’s output that “every sound is in it’s place.” A mobile place. Coming into the mainstream from peripheral Kramatorsk (above), it’s always good to keep the mindset of a willing provincial - in both senses of the adjective.

Booking:
production.promo@gmail.com
+380638564753
Andrew Uvarov

www.mamanet.com.ua
www.myspace.com/mamanetband

[RU] ... из интервью Цыгания Ярослава для музыкального портала в Индонезии...

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Official sites to visit:

Mamanet official website
Mamanet at myspace
Mamanet our record label
Mamanet official last.fm page
Mamanet official livejournal page
Mamanet official ВКОНТАКТЕ page
Mamanet official Fuzz page

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