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The FUSION team is launching a contemporary jazz label. Here’s what the first release will be

The team of the FUSION series of music jams announced the launch of No Time For Swing, an independent contemporary jazz label. The first release, a compilation called «Blakyt’», will be presented at Closer in Kyiv on March 19

About the label

The launch of the label was handled by Akim Karpach, Hyphen Dash drummer Misha Birchenko, and Anastasia Bobrova. They told DTF Magazine in a commentary that the idea of their own label had been developing over the past few years, and over the past year the team had been gradually making «small steps towards the launch».

«The idea of founding the label came organically out of our team’s original motive: to develop the local scene of contemporary jazz, hip-hop and R&B genres. From the very first FUSION jams we set ourselves the goal to create an environment for cool musicians with unobvious taste in music, in which they can feel comfortable and create new music together», Misha Birchenko explained.

The goal of No Time For Swing is to popularize modern Ukrainian jazz in Ukraine and the international arena. The team adds that through the label they also want «to show artists that there is still a lot of work to do after writing music, and there are people in our country who can competently close these issues». 

«In the FUSION project we were able to introduce and unite Ukrainian young and talented musicians and create a space for collaborations. Our team is launching a label to show what modern jazz in Ukraine is all about», Akim Karpach commented on the launch.


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Explaining the title, Misha Birchenko said that No Time For Swing is «their protest against the stereotyped perception of jazz genres», because «there is more than just swing».

«We also put the name of the solo project of FUSION founder Sasha Pinchuk — No Time — into the name. Sasha passed away in the summer of 2021, and it was a very painful and unexpected blow for the team. With this label we continue Sasha’s ideology, who wanted everyone to actively collaborate with each other and create an endless waterfall of music in different genres».


About the debut release

The label’s first release will be «Blakyt’», a collection of jazz and electro-jazz variations of Ukrainian folk songs. The release includes five compositions: «Oy vershe, miy vershe» by Dennis Adu and Yana Vialova, «Misiats na nebi, zironky siaiut» by Yevhen Puhachev, «Oi chyi to kin stoit» by Borys Mohylevskyi and Danil Zverkhanovsky, and two jazz variations of the National Anthem of Ukraine by Misha Mendelenko and Roman Bulakhov.

The FUSION team told us that the musicians worked on the songs from the compilation during the first months after the start of the full-scale invasion in order to «transfer the protest and emotions experienced during that period». According to Misha Birchenko, «the initial impulse to work with folk» was given by electronic musician and friend of FUSION Ihor Kyrylenko aka Hidden Element.

«Since February 2022 there have been many changes in us. I wanted to develop our culture even more, because without it there would be no our people, no identity», Akim Karpach added.

Where to listen to «Blakyt’»

The presentation of the compilation is scheduled for 19 March in Kyiv’s club Closer. Part of the event will also include performances by artists and bands that «formed during the existence of FUSION»: the band Hyphen Dash, Yevhen Pugachov Quartet, Borys Tkachuk, Misha Mendelenko and Borys Mohylevskyi.

After the presentation, the compilation album titled «Blakyt’» will be released immediately on Bandcamp, and a month later — on other streaming platforms. All proceeds from Bandcamp sales will be donated to Music Saves UA.

You can buy tickets to the presentation at Closer by clicking here.

The first event of the series of FUSION music jams took place on March 3, 2019. The main goal of the project is to develop and promote modern directions of jazz in Ukraine.

FUSION events take place in a jam session format: musicians send their applications for participation, the organizers choose among them and make a list of participants, and at the event they draw names at random and form improvised bands, which then create music in real time.

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