giovedì 29 agosto 2013

IZRAEL - "NABIJ FAJĘ" (1986)

Robert Brylewski is a legend of Polish rock. He was the head of Brygada Kryzys along with Tomasz Lipiński, and after their separation he contributed founding two of the most important projects of the local underground, Izrael and Armia. For some years he kept playing in both bands, in the former as the frontman, in the latter as a guitarist. The fact that Izrael produced reggae music with new wave influences, while Armia was a hardcore punk project, says everything about Brylewski's eclecticism.

"Nebij faję" is Izrael's second studio work. It is totally focused on Brylewski's figure, being their only album where he's the sole vocalist (on all their other records, he was supported by a co-lead singer). It is probably superior to their debut effort, being less reggae-centered. While you can hear dub basslines, echoed drums, and upbeat guitars all around, the album also shows a new wave production, an oppressive mood, and some experimental moments such as the kraut-rock rhythm of "Wolny naród", or the percussive storms of the first and last instrumental tracks.

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P.S. If you are interested, "Aya RL II" is available again. Please keep flagging expired links :)

mercoledì 21 agosto 2013

BIG DAY - "W ŚWIETLE I WE MGLE" (1994)

Big Day is an alternative pop-rock band from Olsztyn. Formed in 1994, they quickly showed a peculiar psychedelic sound, mixing jangling guitars and distortions, muscular rock progressions and ethereal atmospheres. On this debut album you can hear the influence of British shoegaze and Madchester movements, which was kinda unusual, if you consider that in the mid 90s nearly every Polish rock band with a female singer played grunge. 

What makes their music so exciting - apart from the dynamic rhythm section - is the combination of male and female vocals, the first provided by bass guitarist and lyrics writer Marcin Ciurapiński, the second by his wife Anna Zalewska, who has become the symbol of the band for the public.

"W świetle i we mgle" was not a big seller at the time, but the band reached an intense period of fame soon after, between 1995 and 1997 (their second album, "Kaleidoscop", surpassed the 100.000 copies mark).

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mercoledì 7 agosto 2013

VIS IDOLI - "VIS IDOLI" (1st EP + 2nd single, 1981)

I presented Idoli on my blog nearly one year ago, when I posted their 1982 full-lenght album, "Odbrana i poslednji dani".
"VIS Idoli" is the first EP from the band led by Vlada Divljan. Released in 1981, it was a blockbuster for Yugoslavian new wave, selling over 200.000 copies at the time.
It contains six songs, three of which have become classics: the art-rock love song "Malena", the punk anthem "Zašto su danas devojke ljute", and "Devojko mala", cover of a wonderful Serbian pop hit, originally sung by Vlastimir "Đuza" Stojiljković in 1960.

P.S. I added two bonus tracks, released in the same year as a single: "Maljčiki", a crazy ska song which probably remains the symbol of the band, and the melancholic post-punk "Retko te viđam sa devojkama" (transl. "I rarely see you with girls"). This was the second Yugoslavian song about homosexuality, preceded only by Prljavo kazalište's "Neki dječaci".

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domenica 4 agosto 2013

BEMIBEM - "BEMOWE FRAZY" (1974)

After tons of post-punk, a step back into the Seventies, with this great album, the only released by Polish pop-jazz ensemble Bemibem. Ewa Bem and her brother Aleksander, both singers and percussionists, were the leaders of the project (Aleksander composed nine songs out of eleven). 

"Bemowe frazy" displays a wide range of influences: Brazilian music (bossanova chords, samba percussive sections), sunshine pop, and orchestral jazz are the first things you will notice here. Elevator music keyboards and complex vocal harmonies are also part of the game, making this one of the most refined albums in the Polish pop-jazz scene. If you want to listen to a Western band with similar mood and musicianship, just try Chris Dedrick's Free Design, from New York. 

After this record Bemibem slowly fell apart, with Ewa starting a long solo career, which would have made her the most important female jazz singer of her nation.


DOWNLOAD (kpbs: 320)