Oleksandr Pipa was the original bass player of the Ukrainian rock band Vopli Vidopliasova, right when an underground rock scene began to emerge in Kyiv in the 1980s.
The group recorded such hits as “Tantsi” or “Dances”, the title of the 1989 album. People copied it, shared it with friends, or sold it on the black market.
Now “Tantsi” album is rediscovered by a new generation of fans. it was re-released last month.
Originally intended as a demo tape and largely recorded overnight, “Tantsi” is a time capsule from late Soviet Kiev, according to the Record Store Day website. It’s also about rebelling against the Kremlin’s repressive rule and imagining new possibilities.
The songs “Politrock” and “There Were Days” satirize the politics of the Soviet era.
Another original member of Vopli Vidopliasova, Oleg Skripka, who is still the frontman, says that the band’s popularity started with the song “Dance”.
“When we played this song, it was like [an] blast, people! [went] crazy.”
At that time, Kiev groups were imitating Russian groups.
“So when we started singing in Ukrainian, we instantly became legends and stars, and it was time to record.”
Pippa, who now has her own band Attraktor, said it happened because Maria Sonevitsky, a professor at Bard College, was working on a book about Tanzi in 2019 called The Tanzi of Vopli Vidopliasova.
After contacting Pippa, she said she dug up the original recording.
“I gave it to Maria, she took it and flew to the United States, found the studio, and then the master engineer, really. he made it even better than it was before.’
Pippa said listening to those old recordings after all these years was a welcome distraction from the war in Ukraine.
“Kiev was under constant missile attacks by Russia. On [the] on the one hand, there is this terrible war, and at the same time, some connection with normality; and it kind of made me feel like everything was going to be okay.”