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Musician John Object joined the AFU on the third day of the great war. We publish an entry from his diary

One of the key experimental artists of the Ukrainian electronic scene John Object came to the military registration office on February 25. With a smile he recalls: «There was a long line». The same evening he held an hour-long stream on Instagram, during which he talked in English about the developments in Ukraine. And the next day he made a second attempt to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) — since then Timur Dzhafarov (real name) has been serving in the artillery. And he keeps a diary, including on Instagram.

With Timur’s permission we are publishing the Ukrainian and English versions of his recent publication. It is about the feeling of disgust, hatred and at the same time faith and confidence, about the impressions of a short stay in Kyiv, about «long-term ambition» and translation of the instructions to «a certain powerful foreign weapon», and also about writing new music at the front for his rock band, which no one knows about yet

today i uhh

i have seemingly lost my ability to write, that i’ve been developing daily in the first months. it probably peaked around May. now my brain is so seared with all the constant unbelievable genocide, murder, and violence, it hardly seems to matter if i scream or just silently tough it out. after all, i’m in the Ukrainian army for a while and that’s all i should be doing. so here goes,

yesterday i sat on an actual chair with an actual back, yet, only became aware of it after around thirty minutes of usual army crouching; i straightened my back intently, and it was a distracting experience: my busy thoughts kept circling back to “i am sitting in a real chair like a real human being living a real life”

yes, i did happen to go to Kyiv (not home: i’ve been evicted, no home now) last week: my commander put me down for five vacation days without asking; if it was up to me, i wouldn’t have asked for such a stark reminder of a very different possible life merely halfway through what i expect to be a year of service; however, i was grateful. it was a good time all at the same bar; i briefly got to hold my new sea foam green Stratocaster without plugging it in; i played my new Moog Matriarch for about thirty minutes, resisting its endless charm for another evening at the bar. 

Kyiv soldiers on, as beautiful and vital as ever; i don’t blame people for living their lives, but the army feels more lonely and removed now. my trip was a mess and i didn’t try to achieve anything substantial and just drank and bought myself a pair of nice shoes

back here, i have masturbated in the most repellent places, i have achieved a state of almost ironic remove from disgust. i hate feeling like this, i hate observing the dulling of what used to be visceral emotion. the tragic moments of intimacy one settles for here are things you people wouldn’t believe, and i guess you shouldn’t care

i’ve done things you people wouldn’t believe ha ha ha ha ahhhhh fuck meee

Sweat is an album-collection of John Object’s live tracks from 2017 to 2021: “I believe this is my best and most precise release”.

dead-eyed Russian fascists do their best to continue insane rates of murder, rape, torture, but Ukraine is forever: over a million (roughly 1/40th of the country) in military service, mastery of a multitude of weaponry that drips through slow and infuriatingly cautious Western legislation. we have destroyed, precisely and elegantly, many ammo depots in occupied territories over the past several months, cut off supply lines and retread routes. i am so fucking proud of us; our army is the absolute coolest, most inventive army in the world right now.

as it has been since February 24th, I am certain of our victory, but i hate every single day of pointless death and bloodshed separating us from it. today it has been almost six months, all of it – the worst 178 days of my life in a row. not a single day of private misery, break up, suicidal ideation, compares to the anguish and emotional pain i have been in for 178 days in a row

i fully support the nascent visa ban for all Russians/fascists. i don’t want to ever meet a single Russian in my beautiful and intense life after this. i don’t want a single Russian at my show, i will never play on the same stage/festival as a Russian resident or citizen – and this will be a clause in all future live show contracts/agreements. if, for some unimaginable reason, the necessity to not pay or platform a Russian isn’t obvious, i will provide a swift motivational kick by making it a “me or them” thing – there’s not a single Russian producer even remotely in my league (for the newer followers: if you’ve only heard Life, I recommend Sweat, the last release I completed on my terms). in a “me or them” i believe i will be the obvious choice (and just imagine how good the records i was interrupted making are!); see above about how i’m remotely buying about the nicest music gear you can get

what else what else

give us more weapons this isn’t a situation where one can have enough

come on

enough is when every Russian that entered Ukraine is either dead or out of here

like, every single long-range missile system literally saves lives.

we have shown you nightly, basically, that it means destroyed Russian ammo depots, one after another, it means their missiles exploding where they keep them, it means hundreds of missiles that will never get a chance to kill a Ukrainian

it’s so easy

do it, it’s right, it is so obviously the right thing

kill the hitler

i’ve been writing music nonstop on iPhone GarageBand. it’s strictly the stuff for my rock band that you’ve never heard of: we’ve been rehearsing on and off for a year (our best is still a high-velocity cover of Jumbo’s by Protomartyr, I must admit); i am the singing bassist, the singing guitarist joined the army the day before i did, the drummer is volunteering relentlessly. when we come back, we will practice and we will be the most inventive Ukrainian rock band, period. on break in Kyiv i realized i had amassed such a wealth of angular, inventive rock in my GarageBand, that playing even the best bits to friends would take hours: i wrote so many bangers

The album Life, which John Object released just after the war began, contains 58 tracks of his old and unreleased music. The musician donates 50% of his sales to his unit, leaving the other 50% for possible future needs

oh another thing. my long-standing ambition came true: on the second day of the war, i showed up at the recruitment center anxiously mumbling something about being a professional translator (my day job!), certain that it should matter somehow. i’ve been telling this to officers that would listen for weeks, and then it finally felt like nothing would come of it, but hey, someone remembered.

before my last week’s trip to Kyiv i was ordered to translate the manuals to a certain powerful American weapon and accompanying accessories we received: two thick A4 books took me three days of 6am-12pm work, and it felt great. then a high-up general arrived, approved my work and ordered it to be used for said weapon throughout the entire Ukrainian Armed Forces. this is fucking sick and probably the most important thing i’ve ever done in my life. look at your boy go

anyway i uhhh

studying to be a commander of a small unit. not sure how all this happened but a career certainly seems to reveal itself ahead of me

living in a dugout shitting in a hole

someday this will end

drinks on me

John Object. Boiler Room x Cxema

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