Mirt’s Modern Electronics
4 weeks ago, 22 August 2014  ·   1 note

There is a science surrounding modular synthesizers, attracting modern alchemysts of sound, eager to tweak something worthwhile out of the cold steel, dreaming of wires.

The Warsaw-based producer Mirt has been making music in various formations for 15 years. He is a musician, graphic designer and also a publisher and journalist aside from running his label cat|sun and being involved in the Monotype imprint. His musical modus operandi is closely tied to analogue electronics, making use of their relative shortcomings in comparison to the endless possibilities of modern software: “It is limited in comparison to computer and DAW and much more demanding, but eventually it works better for me, it makes something straight - for example, you can’t edit a track to death,” he says. His fascination with modular synthesis lead him to building and design of modular equipment as part of the XAOC Devices.

In comparison to the other Polish modular freak Wilhelm Bras, his output is more sedated, in a good way. Mellow and almost gentle, the beat encompassed by swirling melodics. His Modern Electronics is a three track EP, with succinctly named tracks - the eponymous Modern Electronics and its anti-thesis and rejection of the concept Fuck Modern Electronics? “Maybe it is a little provocative. Maybe it is about electronic music eating its tail. How underground/experimental/alternative music is melting in pop and mainstream.”

The gem is hidden in between - Modern Electronics II. Starting off with a sample, a field recording, it veils the listening experience into hazy oriental atmospherics, a gradual build up with subdued percussion in the background, menacing in a very subtle way - in some ways it reminds me of Marina Rosenfeld’s Warrior Queen collaboration. 

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Souvenir de Tanger - Souvenir II
2 months ago, 17 July 2014  ·   2 notes

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As Muslimgauze's magnum opus gets re-released and re-listened by a new generation of listeners, and his numerous epigons emerge and disappear, the merging of Oriental tropes in Western electronic music doesn't seem to cease to interest up-and-coming producers in occidental bedrooms. Many question the earnestness of the ventures of the likes of Vatican Shadow, but this discussion, we rather skip here.

Souvenir de Tanger is a project by a Warsaw-based producer who cut his teeth in various bands and first started experimenting with electronic music in a new wave outfit. How did his current project come about? “The name Souvenir de Tanger came from a postcard that I bought in Morocco, in Tangier. The postcard was kitschy in a camp aesthetic. When I started to make this project I was really interested in the connection between European, the Middle East and Muslim cultures, and this postcard became a symbol for it,” he says.

His raison dêtre came with the Arab Spring that shook the world in 2010/2011.  ”When I started making music, it was the time of the Arab Spring and the first track on the EP is inspired by the guy who burnt himself in Tunisia, which spawned the whole revolution in the Arab World.” 

His Souvenir II tape follows in the wake of the first part and is released by the BDTA  label on tape. The almost virtual or virtualised images of online and TV broadcasts conveying the happenings in the Middle East processed somewhere in Central Europe, detached but still caring and interested. He doesn’t deny the inspiration by Muslimgauze. To the contrary, he admits a literal borrowing of his method. “He [Muslimgauze] started music because of the political situation in the Middle East, and I was in the same situation. Most of the post-Muslimgauze projects are experimenting with the melodies, but they don’t connect themselves to the political situation in the Middle East.” 

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The Good x The Evil, Fresh Now x Fresh Forever
2 months ago, 25 June 2014  ·   1 note

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A never-ending bipolar fight between the Good and the Evil, on a personal level, on a historical and society level, on all levels. There are days, which are dark, clouds hovering low, it’s hard to breathe. It’s June, and you’re not sure, if it’s because you’re depressed or allergic. A rapid storm followed by a cleansing heavy rain, Hungary would need such a purification, but not only Hungary.

Unaussprechlichen kulten - Az üreglakók

Ultra-primitive evil, minimalistic lo-fi black metal from the darkest vaults of the South Zala hill, Beherit Way, Von and Havohej. Biblical apocalyptic hallucinatory scenes, so dark, were they any darker, only a hole would remain, depicting the journey of the inhabitants of hell, without a chance of redemption, without a happy ending, nobody remembers the beginning anymore.

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Then, there are days which are full of sun, pop-driven, June, when you sit at work and can’t wait for your holiday and keep reminding yourself how it was then. A tip for a summer hit:

Damiano CZ built their foundation on an ever-persistent phenomenon of the Disco Polo music style (Italo Disco Polish style, also described as so-called pavement music – a massive escalation and culmination of Disco Polo happened in the second half of the 1990s, especially in the Polish countryside and small towns, and to certain extent, it still survives there) with an added element of synth pop and chillwave. On the EP 1996, the duo offers five pieces “in the tone of the feverish-sensuous evenings/cold-lonely wounds drowned in pseudogangstarap – hetero4homo – psychopolo village dance parties vs post-holiday nostalgia, until the end of summer somewhere around your hypophysis, the rainbowy eo-eo will vibrate! Damiano ce-zet uo-o.”
Check it out here.

A track from the EP 1996, which came out in 2009 on the Polish net label By?em Kobieta (the predecessor of Grzelak’ s label Sangoplasmo). 1996 is composed of love songs, full of highs and lows of a duo one of whose – Szymek - is a member of the perhaps still hybernating, perhaps dead hypnagogic electro oldschool rap duo Chłopomania (together with Lubomir Grzelak aka Lutto Lento) and the artist Cocker Cock (the only artist whose solo album was too strange even for By?em Kobieta Records). They got together on the track Lodowisko.

By Jakub Adamec, I Love 69 Popgeju

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Paweł Kulczyński / Czarny Latawiec - Split
4 months ago, 23 May 2014  ·   4 notes

The split between two of Poland’s leading electronicians appears on a slightly lesser renowned, but nonetheless noteworthy imprint - compared the Sangoplasmo or Mik Musik - called simply BDTA after its owner Michal Biedota. Paweł Kulczyński, better known under his nom de plume Wilhelm Bras, has mastered his modular synth, tweaking and twisting them to get an undiluted analogue extract building and adding new sounds and layers, usually ending in a technoid rhythmachinism. The recording on this split was taken at the Canti Illuminati festival, an emerging, Wroclaw-based independent event happening roughly quarterly.

It’s kind of work in progress snapshot as I’m trying to shape the territory of my interest, not an easy job, since there’s a lot of low quality ‘experimental’ music around, quite possibly mine included,” he says. “Each time it is really different, as I’m shaping the set freely. My initial hope was to make a dialogue with some drony field recordings I made in the country side last summer, including noisy harvesters’ sound bounced back from the hills, huge swarms of birds, close-up recs of bees foraging on the big pile of rotting fruits etc.”

The other side of the release is in command of Czarny Latawiec, a very interesting, and so far underrated Polish producers, whose mangled chopped-and-screwed offerings have previously appeared on Mik Musik (more about it here). Compared to the high octane stuff we have been used to from him, his Pradziady is dark and sinister, paranoid in a subtle way, as the austere slabs of piano emerge, accompanied by male samples, building up slowly and mercilessly.

Both of the tracks are experimental in a BBC Radiophonic Workshop kind of way, there is something old-school and timeless at the same time in this release - especially Latawiec’s part, conjuring images of mad sound scientists experimenting with different sonic ventures in their time-forgotten studio/lab, a genuine no-frills sound adventure

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Lutto Lento - Prima Porta
4 months ago, 9 May 2014  ·   1 note

Lubomir Grzelak is a staple of the new Polish underground scene, running one of the first cassette experimental-electronics labels in Central/Eastern Europe Sangoplasmo (you can listen to our Radio Wave interview with the man here), which with its thirty releases has cemented its position as one of the leading hallmarks of strange sonics in this region.

Lubomir, based in Warsaw, apart from running the label, is also a producer and DJ in his own right. His Lutto Lento moniker increasingly champions witty dancefloor-friendly grooves spiced up with mangled samples, a sort of post-ironic, post-post-modern 4/4 electronica for those who dance with at least half of their brain still functioning. His latest offering entitled “Prima Porta” follows in a similar vein as his last year’s self-released album Unlucky.

Grzelak twists and turns his aural tools, recomposes and decomposes them, whilst retaining a certain cinematic quality - literally, the barking of dogs and random conversation bytes appear on the backdrop of the actual music, as if you were watching a VHS tape in reverse, delving into house and often taking cues from saccharine musical themes without taking itself too seriously (naming the first track off the record as “DJ Tool” as one of the easy cues).

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