Morwan (UA)

Music for dark eastern rituals. The Ukraine based musician Morwan mixes gloomy post-punk with influences of Slavic or Arabic to create an absolutely unique blend of cultures. Alex Ashtaui was born in Kyiv but partially grew up in Lebanon. He dealt wit visual art but music won over his heart.


Since 2015, he records and releases under the names 543, Liteplo or Morwan. The last alias is his best known. The debut Ubila mogila (She killed a grave) from 2019 opened him a pathway from Kyiv underground and his second album Zola-Zemlya (Earth-ash) came out under the renowned American brand Feel It Records. Here, Morwan mixes cold rhythms, curt riffs inspired by Arabic motifs and gloomy ritual atmosphere with Bauhaus-like vampiric vocals. “The nature in songs acts as a fundamental force, a given from which you cannot escape. With the help of metaphors associated specifically with nature I tell about some of my personal experiences and stories,” explains Ashtaui/Morwan. Deservedly, the record was met with excited reviews. “It is an entirely original, impressive album,” wrote the Maximum Underground magazine regarding Zola-Zemlya. After Russian aggression twards Ukraine, Ashtanui who lived in Irpiňa, Kyiv, packed up and moved to Berlin where he returned to music after a short pause.