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AbdeCaf Confirms, All Ukrainians Are "Badasses"

AbdeCaf -- whose moniker is reminiscent of a Scantron -- is the stage name of 21-year-old, Ukrainian-born, Miami-raised producer Rostislav "Steve" Vaynshtok. The beatmaker dishes out ethereal electro. He's a sweeping one-man digital act that, like the name itself, challenges listeners' receptors. Conscious chillwave, if you will.

AbdeCaf is prolific, yielding two solo EPs, Unravel Rebuild and #MAGICALPOWERS, in just the past year. His squiggly masterpiece "Feed Your Brain" found a kind ear in mega DJ Diplo, who follows AbdeCaf on Soundcloud. If that's not enough of an indicator that this kid is on the right track, talent agency William Morris took on AbdeCaf, booking rights for his shows. 

A blog darling from the get-go, Vaynshtok is getting pretty big-time in the indietronica scene. And thanks to the tastemakers at Subculture and 3J Hospitality, AbdeCaf's sweet, serene EDM will be filling the room at the Revolution Live compound during the first Block x Blog Festival.

As one of the few Ukrainians in the South Florida scene, AbdeCaf is a thing of cultural mystery. We admit, our knowledge of Vaynshtok's birth country is limited. It was part of the USSR at one point, and it's pretty damned cold up there, but beyond that, we're at a loss. We asked Vaynshtok to discuss common misconceptions of his native land.

5. We're all spies or rocket scientists.

"As a kid I'd get this one a lot. 'Oh, so you're super smart? You can like, build a calculator? Or a bomb? Can you dismantle a computer and put it back together? Are your parents spies?' Meanwhile, I'd blankly stare at them thinking, 'Yeah, because in Ukraine, all the kids are in preschool right now brushing up on quantum mechanics and chemistry to get them ready for Spetsnaz summer camp.' It's a really funny misconception that has died down a bit since middle school, partly due to the fact that everyone I know is too grown to still think something that silly."  

4. It's negative 45 degrees Celsius at all points in time, and there's a bear on every street corner.

"Contrary to popular belief, we have seasons. We have every season. It's actually really beautiful out there during the spring and summer, I have one photograph that depicts a bird's-eye view of Mogilev, which is the village I'm from, and it's strikingly beautiful. I think that misconception stems from the media wherein most cartoons depict a bear on a unicycle somewhere in a snowy Red Square." 

3. Mail Order Brides

"This isn't a thing. This was never a thing. Unless someone is human trafficking, which I'm sure happens, this is just not something that our people engage in. Many Russian women live happy and fulfilling lives without ever thinking about immigrating or getting married for papers. It's really funny, though; I quite enjoy that American Dad episode where they touch on Steve ordering a mail-order bride from Ukraine, and she ends up becoming an empowered Western woman thanks to his sister."

2. We're all alcoholics who just inhale vodka like it's air.

"While Ukrainians do have Nemiroff, which might just be the best damned vodka I've ever had, they also have jobs and families and things called 'responsibilities' which prohibit them from being alcoholics. Now that's not to say the rumors about tolerance aren't true; I've met quite a few Ukrainians that could drink just about anyone under the table. It's just the idea that we sit there drinking vodka day in and day out that's a bit unsettling to me. I, for one, prefer a good smoky single-malt Scotch."

1. We're all badasses.

"Well no, this one's absolutely right. If you've ever caught an ass-whooping from Ukrainian parents, then you understand, and besides, Putin's living proof."

AbdeCaf performs with Holy Ghost! the Jacuzzi Boys, Krisp, Lil Daggers, Millionyoung, Ex Norwegian, the Gun Hoes, and others. 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Revolution Live complex, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Visit subcultureus.com. Purchase tickets at jointherevolution.net.

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Alex Rendon

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