By Lynn, Columnist-Rock At Night The Netherlands
Part Two in a Series on Electronic Resistance
Check out Part One HERE:
Contact with the duo Sexual Purity
The Russian invasion in Ukraine has been going on for two months now, the people are still defending their country, lots of cities are heavily damaged, and 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled into Europe (mainly woman, children, and vulnerable people). Approximately 8 million have fled within the country to safer places–and the number of victims is not clear. The need for ‘Electronic Resistance’ is still relevant.
One of the bands on the ‘Electronic Resistance’ compilation is the duo Sexual Purity. I discovered them earlier on YouTube and wanted to know if they are “OK” and if they are aware of the other underground Ukraine artists. I contacted them via social media and eventually heard back.
Sexual Purity is based in Dnipro, the 3rd city in Central Ukraine, and it’s relatively safe there. Many refugees from parts of the country that are under Russian attack arrive daily. Citizens are busy with preparing the city for Russian attacks and take care of each other. The Russian army is nearby and could head to Dnipro anytime, they say, there are three front lines around the city and air-raid sirens are yelling almost continuous. For Russia Dnipro is strategically an important city, but the city’s deputy mayor Lysenko recently said, ‘At this moment, Russians don’t have the forces, they don’t have the equipment and they don’t have the people to take the city of Dnipro.’
Anastasiia Romanova (vocalist, songwriter) and Oleksii Donets (composer, mastering/mixing) met each other during a lockdown in 2020 and decided to start a duo. The name Sexual Purity was the result of a name finding process: combining two words that won’t fit in the same concept at first site. The duo recorded their tracks in a home studio and released the song ‘The Room’ together with a video clip with the dancer Aorta in December 2020. New tracks followed during 2021 and Sexual Purity closed the year with the full album ‘Suffer | Hope’ and a live recorded video clip with some tracks from the album.
Suffer | Hope
The title seems to link with the present situation, but it’s originally connected with the past. Sexual Purity says, “This album was based on life in the Luhansk region. In 2014, it was attacked by Russia. By 2021, everything was quiet. But it seemed that many people forgot about it and didn’t talk about the situation anymore. We decided to go there. And we were shocked. Pain, emptiness was the atmosphere that we found. And we decided to convey this. On the other side, a lot of people amazed us in this area. They are creative, enterprising and did not lose hope. They made raves in Severodonetsk, exhibitions of modern art in Lisichansk. No matter how difficult it is, there is always hope. It was the main idea of our album.”
Sexual Purity’s style is electronic dark wave/cold wave but leaning to toward industrial with its open arrangements, repeating dark synth riffs, and languid vocal lines. Sexual Purity continues, “We are developing something new, it’s hard to put in a genre. Yes, we are busy writing a new song, in the Ukrainian language, we want to release it soon. Besides making music we’re helping where we can, help people in the city, sending goods to a good friend in the army, posting updates about the war on our Instagram account and safe spots where you can donate money. Every dollar is welcome.”
“It’s hard to say what’s the status of the music scene now. Clubs and venues are closed, communication is minimal. Many of the musicians are helping people and army in different ways. Our inner conviction is music and arts in general are very important for people. We try to record and release new material, but in our reality it’s very difficult. Because we don’t know what it would be tomorrow.”
Live from the Abandoned House of Culture