Musicians from the group Ivan Samshit (Pëtr Dein: chief songwriter, vocal & keyboards; Dmitry Petishkin: keyboards, occasional vocals; Ruslan Zhovnirovich: keyboards)
already in 1987-88 were the very first artists of the independent scene in Ukraine, who started to produce their music using strictly synthesizers and samplers.
Owing a tip of the hat to the aural adventures of Kraftwerk, Giorgio Moroder, Depeche Mode, Erasure and the likes as their electronic forebears they had just begun to record songs
in that highly captivating do-it-yourself manner. On the background of extremely poor and limited technical conditions of the late 80s, the recordings of Ivan Samshit - that by today's standards could be tentatively classified as European electro-pop - sounded as revelation, which built a local paradigm of perfection, aural wealth and innovation.
While their melodies were audible, catchy and clear, the works of songwriter turned to be "electric" enough to give an irreproachable and futuristic plots to the keyboard players,
who transformed them into electronic soundscapes - an example of unique cooperation, which worked wonders: these songs are quite competitive even by standards of
modern pop music.
However, the real story of Ivan Samshit is a classical western-thriller, which reminds us i.e. of Steve McQueen's "Tom Horn" (just to name the few)…
Their highly influential artistic output was always remaining too aesthetically pleasing, too sensitive and romantic to be absorbed by the Ukrainian underground subculture
that started gaining popularity at that time, and, on the other hand, too brave, too innovative and simply too sexy and controversial for those beyond the peephole…
They always "sung the body electric", and for the official Soviet establishment it was always a bit too much. Although it paved the way for feminine outrage of the 90s,
that was another paradox caused by well-recognized absence of show-biz tools in the former USSR: the band has obvious artistic values and plain cult status, but, at the same time, remains the leader of "genius outsiders", the darling and heartthrob in the narrow circle of music intelligentsia, show-biz authorities and devoted cultish audience…
To the broad masses Ivan Samshit, the living legend of the Ukrainian culture, is poorly introduced until now - due to the work of mass media probably, which tangle the clear
and plain history of budget-driven domestic pop into contradictions, just as before unfazed by their iconic reputation - a hard lot for those who shun the public eye…
In 1987 - 1998 Ivan Samshit have recorded about 10 "tape-albums" (this very specific Soviet term was broadly used until the mid of the 90s) in LP format.
Due to the numerous aforementioned technical problems the band was consequently subjected to during the recording sessions this number is quite impressive as for
non-commercial and independent band. The fact is that only a few phonograms that took enormous efforts (basically of technical and financial art)
to be released have been released on cassettes in Ukraine and Germany by now.
The "Essential Shit" compilation introduced in Spring 2007 by QUASI POP is the very first CD release of this band.
Now it spans the complete palette of the band's output - from the grotesque sound equilibrium of the late 80s through the cheery and cute style
of the early 90s to the orchestral megalomania and advanced audio design of the latest works - a unique possibility for everyone to enjoy the sanctuary of Ivan Samshit,
a collection that is one of the few places where punk, electronica and pop can still co-exist naturally, one of their most heartfelt and mature albums ever,
as magical and spiritual as its title suggests, just in one go.
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