Music List | posted 03.07.2019
Polish Jazz
An introduction in 10 vinyl records
The Polish jazz scene is considered one of the most important and creative in Europe. Today it oscillates between superficial conventions and hidden ruptures. A little search for clues.
Text Jens Pacholsky, Nils Schlechtriemen, Christoph Benkeser, Steffen Kolberg
Soj_polish_magazin_artikel_1024px_685px
Rubriken_sticker_detail_02

Tradition and deconstruction
In Poland in the late 1940s, the Stalinist regime, in the course of its paranoia of overthrow, was in a sweat of fear on its forehead, listening to the sinkopaque beats of jazz. The culture ministries banned everything rhythmically subtle into the illegality of the underground, which was only allowed to come to light again after Stalin’s death in 1953. Feliks Falk’s 1982 film »Byl Jazz« follows the musicians of the Lodz jazz cult band Melomani through this period of jazz banishment. The film’s key sentence, »Maybe this jazz is more to them than just music,« understands the government’s fear in simple words.

Jazz has always been considered suspect by the leaders of authoritarian, immoral states. And even after its legalization after Stalin’s death, jazz remained a symbol, »the contagious evaporation of a decaying, bourgeois culture,« as the Polish painter Andrzej Wroblewski once described jazz. Nevertheless or precisely because of this, a flourishing, exciting and successful jazz scene developed behind the iron curtain in Poland. The Polish jazz scene of the 1950s and 1960s under Krzystof Komeda, Jan ‘Ptaszyn’ Wroblewski (both former members of Melomani) and Michał Urbaniak also left its mark internationally. In 1962 Thomas Stanko founded the Jazz Darings, the first, at least publicly known, European Free Jazz Combo. And Komeda has written several soundtracks for Roman Polanski, among them »Rosemary Baby«.

Creativity in isolation
In the isolation behind the Iron Curtain an own, little regulated variety of styles could develop. »The jazz scene had its own fresh ideas,« Igor Pudło summed up in Goon Magazine in 2004. Together with Martin Cichy, he set out to enrich Ninja Tune with modern jazz under the project name Skalpel, which consisted exclusively of samples from the »Polish Jazz« series. The series, published by the Polskie Nagrania Muza label between 1965 and 1989, was a permanent fixture for all jazz musicians in Poland and beyond. For some years now, there have been sporadic releases of jazz albums and parts of the back catalogue, which had been out of print for a long time, have recently been reissued.

Despite of some radio relations to the imperialistic foreign countries, the jazz scene in Poland was mostly isolated. And so they reverted to their own cultural history. In addition to Polish folklore and Chopin’s piano music, these were above all the composition techniques of philharmonic concert music. With Andrzej Trzaskowski and Andrzej Kurylewicz, the so-called 3rd Stream emerged during the 1960s, a mixture of modern jazz and contemporary philharmonic music. It was not until the 1970s, when saxophonist and violinist Michel Urbaniak emigrated to the USA, that fusion jazz began to spill over into the country. In the same years a colourful collective was created with Laboratorium, which moved jazz into the psychedelic corners in which Krautrock, electronic music and Music concréte combined.

Between the spirit of optimism and the need for tradition
Cut into the present. Poland’s jazz scene has probably never been as big as it is today. About 34 jazz festivals take place regularly. The technical level people play even in the smallest clubs is enormous. Piotr Turkiewicz, director of the Jazztopad festival, praised the strength of the Polish jazz scene in the Allaboutjazz magazine in 2017: »Every city has its own community of musicians who improvise, play avant-garde or mainstream«. In recent years there has been a veritable flood of releases. On the Polish Jazz blog three enthusiasts discuss almost daily new albums of Polish bands and soloists. But despite all the wealth of musicians and all the world-class technology, one thing remains obvious: the footsteps of the fathers of Polish jazz are huge – and only a few jazz bands venture out of these deep impressions.

Despite the large number of jazz musicians (there are hardly any women in the Polish jazz scene), the sound spectrum today is relatively homogeneous. There are special Polish phenomena, such as the interpretation of Chopin or the integration of violins. But the musical structures have changed only insignificantly since the 1970s. At the beginning of the 1990s, the young Yass scene, which emerged from the environment of punk and performance art, managed a brief outbreak. Bands like Miłość and Łoskot broke not only linguistically with the ancestors. Like so many subcultures, the scene surrendered to the mainstream at the beginning of the new millennium and seeped away.

Even in contemporary free jazz and experimental music, the dynamics remain well known in many places today. If one travels through various relevant jazz albums in succession, the differences become blurred. Catchiness and recognition dominate. Corners and edges can be found rather apart from the relevant jazz infrastructure. Zimpel / Ziołek and Innercity Ensemble on the indie label Instant Classic blur the boundaries between folk, jazz, postrock and minimal. On the experimental label Plaża Zachodnia Chrystie Panie rotate between Tribal, Jazz and Psychedelic. While solo drummer Hubert Zemler creates an exciting, reserved world of effect devices, drums and xylophones on Bôłt, a label for contemporary classical music.

Whether searching for traces at the beginning or at the pulse of the sheer impenetrable present, Poland is still one of the most exciting European countries for jazz. Whoever enters the thicket, however, has to go deep into the undergrowth to discover unmapped terrain.


You can find Polish Jazz on Vinyl records in our HHV web shop


Komeda Quintet – Astigmatic (1966)Webshop ► #Vinyl LP# Komeda Quintet – Astigmatic (1966): Not more than a handful of releases from European jazz history can claim such an exceptional status as »Astigmatic«. Recorded in 1965 and released in 1966, the album by Krzysztof Komedas consists of three pieces and marks the birth of a completely unique continental jazz language for many genre aficionados. Allegedly composed during a chaotic night session, the aleatorics of Tomasz Stanko (trumpet) and Zbigniew Namyslowski (alto saxophone) keep Rune Carlsson’s drumming energized in about 47 minutes, while Krzysztof Komeda virtuously rebounds and frays his ominous piano clusters. On this pioneering piece of ECM style, the structural poetry of Slavic folklore marries the coolness of modal jazz and the impetuous vitality of highly concentrated improvisation. Timeless. (Nils Schlechtriemen)  

Zbigniew Namyslowski Quartet – Zbigniew Namyslowski Quartet (1966)Webshop ► Vinyl LP Zbigniew Namyslowski Quartet – Zbigniew Namyslowski Quartet (1966): Born in 1939, trombonist and alto saxophonist Zbigniew Namyslowski introduced Polish jazz to the world in the late 1960s. Coming from the famous Krzysztof Komeda Quintet, he founded his own quartet at the age of 27 and recorded an album for the nationalized record label Polskie Nagrania Muza, which drew its influences from American hard bob records à la Wayne Shorter as well as from Polish folk music, which Namyslowski brings to his compositions to this day. From unconventional and free to orthodox and harmonious – an album that has lost nothing of its original vigour more than 53 years after its release. (Christoph Benkeser)

Tomasz Stanko Quintet – Music For K (1970)Webshop ► Vinyl LP Tomasz Stańko Quintet – Music For K (1970): Tomasz Stańkos 1970 an der Warschauer Philharmonie aufgenommene »Music For K« steht für viele Kenner des Free Jazz auf einer Ebene mit Meisterwerken des Genres wie Albert Aylers »Spiritual Unity« und Cecil Taylors »Conquistador«. Das nach dem Unfalltod seines Mentors, Krzysztof Komeda, zusammen mit der polnischen Jazz-Koryphäe Zbigniew Seifert aufgenommene Album, lugte hinter dem Eisernen Vorhang hervor und ebnete damit den Weg der avantgardistischen Jazz-Szene in Europa. Entstanden ist ein Irrgarten der Improvisation, aus dem man zwischendurch mit herrlich einfachen Melodieabfolgen herauszufinden vermag. (Christoph Benkeser)
 

Michal Urbaniak Group – Live Recording (1971)Webshop ► Vinyl LP Michal Urbaniak Group – Live Recording (1971): Classic remains classic. And how Michal Urbaniak transports the violin to the sexy rampsau, strolls through the saxophones and gets into conversation with Hohner Clavinet from Adam Makowicz, who sounds like a distorted parliament-guitar, while bass and drums play NASCAR races in the background… Phew, that’s great cinema. »Live Recording« is fast, chaotic, visionary, groovy, full of soul and snotty. (Jens Pacholsky)
##SPACER:3###

Laboratorium – Quasimodo (1979)Webshop ► Vinyl LP Laboratorium – Quasimodo (1979): Hard to believe what Polish jazz had to offer in the 1970s. When Weather Report in the USA intended to continue the fusion legacy of the »Bitches Brew« sessions, Laboratorium in Poland had very similar plans at the same time. Elements from the Canterbury sound, together with the ethereal keyboards so typical of the time, made »Quasimodo« a European fusion album of great independence. In addition to the epic title track, numbers like »Śniegowa Panienka« or the concluding »Ikona« from dynamically shimmering dialogues between bass, Fender Rhodes and drums give birth to brilliant saxophone melodies and arpeggios of longing guitars. Dynamism follows lean-back parts, funk follows jazz, space rock follows lounge and yet it all sounds like a groove-saturated cast. (Nils Schlechtriemen)
##SPACER:0###

Spisek Szesciu – Complot Of SeaWebshop ► Vinyl LP Spisek Szesciu – Complot Of Sea (1975): What would it have been like if Darth Vader, Hal9000 and Pinocchio had even a hint of jazz in their circuits and wood fibers… Fuzz bass on the Death Star, roaring sax to Jupiter and a cheeky Fender piano to Geppetto’s hands please. The opener alone sounds like a bomber squadron straight from the dark side. Unfortunately the only album of the sextet Spisek Szesciu loses a bit of momentum in the middle, but in the meantime it keeps getting the hang of it with such a wicked blaxploitation sound. (Jens Pacholsky)
##SPACER:2###

Skalpel – Skalpel (2003)Webshop ► Vinyl 2LP Scalpel – Scalpel (2003): Saving the spirit of Polish jazz of the 1960s and 1970s into the 21st century – Scalpel from Wrocław to the turn of the millennium is no less a mission. The duo, consisting of Marcin Cichy and Igor Pudło, made the 2000s demo EP »Polish Jazz« known in their own country and won them a record deal with Ninja Tune. Four years later, the self-titled debut album was released in record stores. The scratchy jazz samples of the past era are polished up with fresh beat accessories, avant-garde married with nonchalance. It goes without saying that »Skalpel« has become a classic in the ninja tune catalogue. (Steffen Kolberg)
##SPACER:1###

Innercity Ensemble – III Innercity Ensemble – III (2016): We need more noise and indie rock in jazz. Seriously! Recorded during a three-day impromptu meeting, the seven musicians row out so wonderfully far on their third album, partly from quite unjazzigen backgrounds. Actually, only the instrumentation is vaguely reminiscent of jazz. Somehow more postrock, some Montréal, a little Chicago, tribal percussions, Krautrock at its core. Welcome to the event horizon of polish jazz (I got you one step over it already). (Jens Pacholsky)
 

EABS – Repetions (Letters Ot Krzysztof  Komeda)Webshop ► #Vinyl LP# EABS – Repetions (Letters Ot Krzysztof Komeda) (2017): Well, there is no jazz musician in Poland who ignores Komeda (by the way, not even the female jazz musicians, if there were only a few exceptions). Be that as it may, Komeda is the spirit that floats above everyone. The young collective EABS grabs the ghost with all respect and turns it between homage and new prescription, deconstruction and kitsch, between soundtrack and free jazz, fusion, funk and rap. The live album turns up a little more. (Jens Pacholsky)
##SPACER:2###

Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski – Moja Slodka Europejska Ojczyzna (2013)Webshop ► Vinyl LP# Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski – Moja Słodka Europejska Ojczyzna (2018): Jan Wroblewski already played with Krzysztof Komeda, the Godfather of Polish Jazz, in the 1950s. At 77 he wanted to know again and in 2013 he reinterpreted the 50 year old »Moja Słodka Europejska Ojczyzna« (“My Sweet European Home”) by Krzysztof Komeda with experienced jazz musicians. Of course, everything stays the same. Jazz is cool. Here and there the planned improvisations jump into your ears. New in quality jazz is still relative. Even if that means moaning on a high level. (Jens Pacholsky)
##SPACER:0###


You can find Polish Jazz on Vinyl records in our HHV web shop

Related Articles
Music Essay | posted 24.06.2019
British Jazz
On The Hot Spot
Jazz in Great Britain is in the midst of a generational shift. New talents from Manchester to London are revising gridlocked listening habits and are testing the limits of the genre. But why now?
Music Portrait | posted 14.05.2020
Muriel Grossmann
Abstraction with a sea view
Saxophonist Muriel Grossmann reaches abstraction on the Balearic Islands, rides the waves with hard bop and even amazes billionaires with standards. Who is the secret pioneer of the spiritual revival?
Music Portrait | posted 07.07.2020
International Anthem
In search of the truth
For six years the label International Anthem from Chicago has been reliably delivering jazz with their own attitude and idea. Although the founders refuse to be ascribed almost any kind of attribution to a genre. For them, the most beautiful sound is just always: the truth.
Music Interview | posted 16.06.2020
Gary Bartz
»We no longer see reality«
The Grammy-winning soprano saxophonist shared the stage with Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Max Roach. Now he has recorded an album with British outfit Maisha — and discovered something new.
Music Portrait | posted 30.06.2020
We Jazz
With emphasis on We
We Jazz, that stands for edgy, surprising jazz from the north. And also not. Since 2013 the festival has been held in Helsinki, since 2016 the label was founded. Matti Nives mainly publishes Finnish bands there. And acts as one of the most important networkers of the local scene.
Music Essay | posted 09.07.2020
Baltic & Finnish Jazz
Removing Boundaries
While jazz from London to L.A. is evolving a fresh pop sensibility or even tries to update the fusion heritage, cool flavors between new blood and nostalgia are cultivated on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Here the genre is cosmopolitan as well and yet totally distinct.
Music Review | posted 10.01.2014
BadBadNotGood
BBNG2
To get jazz back out of the feuilleton, it’s taken nothing but the gentlemen of BadBadNotGood. »BBNG2« is making jazz dangerous again.
Music Review | posted 11.02.2016
Ed Motta
Perpetual Gateways
Since Donny Hathaway, hardly anyone has sounded this tender. With »Perpetual Gateways«, jazz singer Ed Motta is keeping up his high standards.
Music Review | posted 22.03.2016
Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith
A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke
Words like »sublime« should be used sparingly; however, it’s more than fitting for the encounter between Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith.
Music Review | posted 14.04.2016
Özdemir Erdoğan
Jazz Session
Özedemir Erdoğan’s »Jazz Session« gives us a good idea of the great things waiting to be explored in the field of Turkish music.
Music Review | posted 10.05.2016
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band
55
On »55«, the Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band shows how good Steel Drum-Funk can function with Hip-Hop elements.
Music Review | posted 07.07.2016
BBNG (BadBadNotGood)
IV
With their new LP »IV«, BBNG (BadBadNotGood) are proving the critics wrong: their instrumental hip hop has defeated the alleged elevator-jazz.
Music Review | posted 01.04.2019
Steve Reid
Nova
The only bad thing about »Nova« by Steve Reid and the Legendary Master Brotherhood from 1978 is that it’s already over after 30 minutes.
Music Review | posted 14.02.2020
The Heliocentrics
Infinity Of Now
With »Infinity Of Now«, which has just been released by Madlib Invazions, the genius of the Heliocentrics should really get around now. To the inifinity.
Music Review | posted 09.03.2020
Pharoah Sanders
Live In Paris 1975
Pharoah Sanders recorded “Live In Paris 1975” in times of transition. This is reflected in the stylistic diversity of the recordings, but not in the playing of his quartet.
Music Review | posted 03.03.2020
Wildflower
Season 2
»Season 2«, the second album by Wildflower, with musicians from Sons Of Kemet and Ill Considered, is a meditation in exhilarated times.
Music Review | posted 20.03.2020
Matthew Tavares & Leland Whitty
Visions
The Canadians Matthew Tavares and Leland Whitty, known as part of BadBadNotGood, have released an album with »Visions«. This has what it takes to be a big hit.
Music Review | posted 30.03.2020
Phi-Psonics
The Cradle
The jazz on Phi-Psonics’ »The Cradle« inspires with almost erotic charm. We get to be introduced to a band from which we will hear even more in the future.
Music Review | posted 03.04.2020
Pharoah Sanders
Welcome To Love
Tidal Waves releases »Welcome To Love«, ballads by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders released only on CD in 1991, for the first time on vinyl.
Music Review | posted 26.05.2020
Irreversible Entanglements
Who Sent You?
Jazz doesn’t get any more historically relevant this year: the fantastic second album »Who Sent You?« by Irreversible Entanglements.
Music Review | posted 26.06.2020
Oiro Pena
2
The Finnish multi-instrumentalist Antti Vauhkonen releases playful music with his vinyl 10-inch »2«, released by Jazzaggression.
Music Review | posted 04.03.2021
Mandala
Mandala
Beautifully confused: Mad About reissues the only album by Brazilian jazzers Mandala from 1976.
Music Review | posted 09.03.2021
Maulawi
Maulawi
Recorded in 1973, never released because Strata Records went bankrupt shortly before. Now »Maulawi« by Maulawi Nururdin has been released for the first time.
Music Review | posted 03.04.2021
Gary Bartz, Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad
Jazz Is Dead 006
This time, Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad have brought California saxophonist Gary Bartz on stage for their »Jazz Is Dead« series.
Music Review | posted 16.04.2021
Francisco Mora Catlett
Mora! I
»Mora! I«, the 1986 debut of American drummer and percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett has been reissued via Far Out Recordings.
Music Review | posted 16.04.2021
Francisco Mora Catlett
Mora! II
Even more mysterious than the first one, is this long-lost sequel. Now, »Mora! II« by Francisco Mora Catlett has been reissued.
Music Review | posted 02.05.2021
Kohsuke Mine
First
»First«, the 1970 debut by Kohsuke Mine and his quartet, has now been reissued for the first time in BBE Records’ J Jazz Masterclass Series.
Music Review | posted 16.05.2021
Sun Ra
Lanquidity
Available as a comprehensive reissue, »Lanquidity« could be Sun Ra’s best LP had he not laid down so many other masterpieces.
Music Review | posted 09.06.2021
Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band
Tezeta
»Tezeta,« Hailu Mergia’s first album originally released on cassette only in 1975, has now been reissued via Awesome Tapes From Africa.
Music Review | posted 11.06.2021
Resilient Vessels
Live At The Cell
Four musicians got together last year in New York to record a brilliant jazz album under the name Resilient Vessels, »Live At The Cell«.
Music Review | posted 14.06.2021
Mind Maintenance
Mind Maintenance
Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor take gimbri and mbira in hand and practice serenity under the name Mind Maintenance.
Music Review | posted 08.06.2021
Ron Everett
The Glitter Of The City
»The Glitter Of The City« by Ron Everett is a gem of late avant-garde jazz and was completely overlooked in its time. Jazzman has now brought it back.
Music Review | posted 06.07.2021
Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble
Now (Forever Momentary Space)
Damon Locks has once again gathered the loose Black Monument ensemble around him and made another, yes political, statement with »Now (Forever Momentary Space)«.
Music Column
Records Revisited
DJ Shadow – Endtroducing (1996)
25 years ago, »Endtroducing« was released, a hip-hop album that brought Björk together with Metallica and Finnish fusion. DJ Shadow was digging in the cellar for it. And found gold. He covered what he found with a touch of melancholy and created an album that seems to have fallen out of time.
Music Portrait
Sarah Davachi
Echo of the infinity
Intensity is the word that comes to mind. In her music and in her movements. Sarah Davachi is an artist on the border between ambient, composition and drone. Her sound feels like someone stroking the soul with a fingertip. Now her new album »Antiphonals« is released.
Music Portrait
Dais Records
Sound as a collection
Between experiment and expectation, the contemporary and the past, Dais Records dares a delicate balancing act in aesthetics. Gibby Miller and Ryan Martin make waves where linearity experiences conscious disturbance – and follow the tracks of exceptional labels.
Music Portrait
Leslie Winer
The Unknown World Star
Björk, Grace Jones, Boy George and Sinéad O’Connor are among her admirers. William S. Burroughs was her mentor. Somehow, she also invented trip-hop. Yet Leslie Winer is known only to insiders today. That could change now.
Music Portrait
DJ Koco
Guest Mix
With DJ Koco, amazing mixing skills meet a selection of tremendous sophistication. Hardly anyone cuts his breakbeats tighter into each other than he does. The most amazing thing: The Japanese DJ limits himself to 7-inches in his sets.
Music Column
Records Revisited
John Coltrane – Africa/Brass (1961)
In 1961, »Africa/Brass" marked the dawn of a new age: for John Coltrane, it was the beginning of his Impulse! years, and for many African countries, the start of independence. Musically, it was probably his most ambitious effort.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Björk – Vespertine (2001)
Introverted standstill. Despite numerous positive reviews in August 2021 for the release of her fourth album “Vespertine”, Björk Guðmundsdóttir did not seem to fulfill the promise of her previous work with this record. Because this time she chose a completely different approach. Which makes »Vespertine« one of her best records to date.
Music List
Durand Jones & The Indications
10 All Time Favs
More than retro soul: Durand Jones & The Indications have been combining the past and future of the genre since their debut five years ago. Now their third album »Private Space« is released. Time to ask the band about the 10 records that have shaped, improved and educated them.
Music Portrait
Conrad Schnitzler
In the Midst of Disorder
Conrad Schnitzler, who died in 2011, is still perceived primarily for his connection to Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream. Yet the impressive body of work that the »intermedia« artist left behind stands on its own.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Main Source – Breaking Atoms (1991)
In some ways, »Breaking Atoms,« Main Source’s full-length debut, seems to have remained a second-tier classic. But Large Professor’s production defined a signature sound for the Golden Age of Hip-Hop.
Music Column
Records Revisited
LFO – Frequencie (1991)
With »Frequencies«, the low frequency oscillators LFO from Leeds created one of the first techno albums. Their high bleeps and low clonks made history in techno music. To this day, it is an invitation, er, order to dance.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain (1971)
With »Maggot Brain« Funkadelic 1971 goes to the dark side of funk. The triumphant pleasure principle is interspersed with dystopian eschatology, and juxtaposes the celebration of life with an oppressive doomsday mood.
Music Portrait
Hōzan Yamamoto
Meditation out of improvisation
For over five decades he pushed Japanese jazz towards spiritual spheres, without kitsch or esoteric – and just a little pathos. Above all, he garnered reputation for it back home. Even today Hōzan Yamamotos work is internationally considered an insider tip.
Music Portrait
Hoshina Anniversary
The Techno and jazz meltdown
Hoshina Anniversary makes techno. But he would rather see himself as a successor to jazz and traditional Japanese music. And the Tokyo native is not alone in this. In this sense, jazz is less what you play than how you play it.
Music Essay
Jazz kissas
Where the music plays in Japan
They offer classy retreat from a world where everyone listens all the time. And they celebrate listening to music: Jazz Kissas, Japan’s unofficial cultural heritage. Journalist Katsumasa Kusunose is now documenting it.
Music Portrait
Hiroshi Suzuki
The unknown with the trombone
In 1976, Japanese trombonist Hiroshi Suzuki recorded an album. “Cat,” which is characterized less by perfection than by a fine groove, was somewhat overlooked at one time. Now you can rediscover it.
Music Essay
Small In Japan
Japan, a Vinyl Nation? Not really.
Elaborate packaging, audiophile listening bars and the highest number of record shops in the world: Japan, a vinyl paradise? No. For decades, the medium has only played only a minor role there. A cultural history of Japan’s music industry.
Music List
Evidence
10 All Time Favs
Evidence is a producer, cratedigger and rapper, and one who in 15 years of career has never lost the desire to discover. Now his album »Unlearning Vol.1« is released. We asked about 10 vinyl records that have shaped, improved and educated him.
Music List
Record Store Day 2021 – 2nd Drop
12 releases to look out for
On July 17, 2021, the second Record Store Days this year will now take place. Again, several dozen exclusive releases have been announced. We have again picked twelve records that we want to recommend to you.
Music Column
Records Revisited
The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead (1986)
Released in 1986, »The Queen Is Dead« is the culmination of the British band The Smiths’ career, which lasted only five years and four studio albums. It still sounds refreshingly idiosyncratic even after so long.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Porter Ricks – Biokinetics (1996)
When Porter Ricks released the album »Biokinetics« in 1996, it was more than just a collection of their first 12inches flanked by two bonus tracks. It was a utopian attempt to expand upon the dub techno formulas.
Music Portrait
BBE Records
The influencer's influencer
Peter Adarkwah is the reason why some lives have been changed by J Dilla, why Roy Ayers experienced a second spring and why Japanese jazz albums are reviewed by Pitchfork. In other words: BBE Music turns 25 years this year.
Music List
Record Store Day 2021 – 1st Drop
12 vinyl records to look out for
On June 12, 2021, the first of two Record Store Days will take place this year. For this alone, several dozen exclusive releases have been announced. We have picked out twelve records that we would like to recommend to you.
Music Portrait
Portico Quartet
Guest Mix
»Terrain« is the name of the new album of the British band Portico Quartet, which was released these days on Gondwana Records. For us, Portico Quartet’s Jack Wyllie has put together 60 minutes of music in an exclusive DJ mix.
Music Portrait
SSIEGE
Looking for the Infinite Loop
Densely packed with details, the sound of SSIEGE strolls along the transitions of the seasons and during the process blurs ultra-saturated pictures with cravings yet unfulfilled. With them, the Italian producer manages to tell dream tales that recur endlessly.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Marvin Gaye – What's Going On (1971)
Is it even necessary to reminisce about this album? Not really. But you can listen to it again and again. And it has remained relevant to this day, for better or worse. Marvin Gaye’s »What’s Going On« is 50 years old.
Music Portrait
Seefeel
Music in vacuum
Seefeel are a convergence of improbabilities. For almost 30 years they have been playing between styles, unfettered by contemporary references. Their sound remains a singularity.
Music Portrait
Arsivplak
The Past, Re-presented
Volga Çoban’s Arsivplak label and Arşivplak edit project are two sides of the same coin: his approach to Turkish funk, disco, pop, rock and jazz is archival on the one hand and strives to shed a new light on old sounds on the other.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Grace Jones – Nightclubbing, 1981
Nightlife for androids: On »Nightclubbing«, along with one of the world’s leading rhythm sections, Grace Jones made sure that reggae and new wave would develop a new life of its own in 80’s pop.
Music List
Crumb
10 All Time Favs
Since their debut »Jinx« in 2019, Crumb have been considered the next big thing in music . Now their new album »Ice Melt« is out. The perfect opportunity to ask them about 10 records that have shaped, improved and educated them.
Music Interview
Adrian Younge
Sonic history lesson
»The American Negro« marks the beginning of a new chapter in Adrian Younge’s work. It is more frontal, more politically charged, and more self-assured. He wants to teach. We had the opportunity for an in-depth interview.
Music List
Leon Vynehall
10 All Time Favs
With his new album »Rare, Forever«, British producer Leon Vynehall continues the path he started with »Nothing Is Still« 3 years ago. Today he tells us 10 vinyl records that have shaped, improved and educated him.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces Of A Man (1971)
He was called the “Godfather of Hip Hop” because he wrote about drugs, racism and the Divided States of America. Gil Scott-Heron’s most successful album is now 50 years old – and more timely than ever.
Music List
Jenn Wasner (Flock Of Dimes)
10 All Time Favs
With her solo project Flock of Dimes, Jenn Wasner has just released her most personal and at the same time most substantially far-reaching album. We asked the musician to name 10 Vinyl records that have shaped, improved, and educated her.
Music Portrait
Gondwana Records
Soul And Character
As a DJ and musician, Matthew Halsall became a label operator. Starting with a local focus on Manchester’s contemporary jazz scene, the trumpeter, composer and bandleader has since given his imprint Gondwana Records a fairly international focus.
Music Column
Records Revisited
Yellow Magic Orchestra – BGM (1981)
Cues for the future: on their fourth album, »BGM«, the synth wizards of Yellow Magic Orchestra drafted background music for generations to come.
Music Portrait
Important Records
Deep Listening Forever!
Whehter it’s Pauline Oliveros, Éliane Radigue, Alina Kalancea or Caterina Barbieri: For 20 years now, Important Records has been like a well-stocked record shop for exciting sounds and music that needs to be heard intensely.
Art Portrait
Vincent de Boer
Like Jazz With Brushes
Dutch artist Vincent de Boer has become a regular band member of the British jazz band Ill Considered. He draws record covers based on the grooves he hears. For »The Stroke«, the process has now been reversed.
Music Portrait
Far Out Recordings
At the epicenter of the Brazil craze
Joe Davis is the train driver whose bandwagon a whole generation of Brazil-affine producers jumped on in the mid-nineties. With his Far Out Recordings label, he became the worldwide representative of Brazilian music culture.
Music List
Aaron Frazer
10 All Time Favs
»Introducing« is the name of Aaron Frazer’s first solo album. As the drummer of Durand Jones & The Indications, however, he is by no means an unknown name. So musically it’s off to the sixties. He tells us what actually influenced him musically.
Music Portrait
On The Corner
Bangers for the backroom
With his label On the Corner Records, Pete Buckenham serves a heady stew of afro-futuristic jazz concepts and contemporary street grooves beyond the genre ascriptions, and is opening the gates to the sound universe of tomorrow.