This site might use cookies. Check our privacy policy. OK

Czaszka Rec: ‘raw ideas since MMXVI’

Published September, 2016
by Easterndaze

Czaszka is a relatively new addition to the sprawling tape scene. Established by Polish expats Michal Fundowicz and Karolina Pietrzyk and Oliver Spieker living in Edinburgh and Berlin respectively, Czaska is hard to categorise in terms of sonics – and better so. They shed stylistic boundaries, carving from the rich sonic tapestries woven from techno, glitchy electronics, lofi as well as digital aesthetics and beyond. 

Can you introduce your label / format / motivation for its inception?

Czaszka (Rec.) is a tape label I launched early this year in Edinburgh, Scotland. Karolina Pietrzyk and Oliver Spieker are with me from the beginning. They are responsible for visual identity of label. So far, we’ve released seven cassettes.

Over the last few last years, you could find many articles about the „cassette comeback”. But in my opinion tapes have always been here. I was listening to music from spools as a kid, then I was buying tapes in my high school and discovering a new wave of small labels while studying. I started to build my cassettes collection more consciously around a time when Sangoplasmo label appeared in Poland and tape culture started to bloom in neighbouring countries: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and so on. At the same time, I was also writing quite a lot of reviews for Polish websites, especially for So I was trying to dig deeper and soon I found out about many exciting tape labels from all around. I thought it would be cool to run a label by myself, but only this year I found the right circumstances to realise my plan.

I always loved how cassettes looks and sounds like and the fact that they’re cheap. Plus that the format itself forces you to listen more carefully, from the beginning to the end.

Stutter Causes by Takahiro Mukai

How do you find / curate your releases? Conceptualise?

It’s an adventure. When I was planning to start Czaszka I sent a lot of emails to artists I admired. Robert Skrzyński (Micromelancolié) was the first choice. I reviewed some of his stuff before and really liked his style. It was quite exciting that someone created music for me and I could be the first listener. A new refreshing experience.

Michael McGregor from New York who recently moved to Mexico City trusted me early on and sent me two pieces of his ambient music. I knew his stuff from videogamemusic and 1080p. And the tracks he sent me were stunning!

So these two first titles started everything. This was followed by a lot of reactions, demo submissions, new virtual friendships.

The visual part is also important in the process of curating. Karolina and Oliver created a coherent style which refers to the aesthetics of an encyclopedia entry. I’m a fan of their minimalist approach, the way they’re creating tension between visual symbols and an empty surface is splendid.

PATRU by Somnoroase Păsărele

Can you talk / highlight some of your releases in particular?

Czaszka’s motto is: ‘raw ideas since MMXVI’. I haven’t released any noise record so far, but I hope you can find that ‘raw’ quality in all of our albums. And they’re quite diverse.

‘Faces’ by Bouchons d’Oreilles is an abstract and radical sound adventure but at the same time, it’s also quite lyrical (one of inspirations was Italo’s Calvino ‘Italian Folktales’). It was recorded by thriving Polish artists Łukasz Kacperczyk and Mateusz Wysocki on electronics, analogue synths, turntables and amplified objects.

On ‘Avernus’ IXTAB continues the infernal thread started by Micromelancolié on ‘Leaving Hades’. But in contrast to Robert’s lo-fi drones, the Trans-Atlantic duo gives us warm analogue techno. Rad record.

I knew Somnoroase Păsărele from previous cassettes and I admired their unique, intensively threaten computer sound. So I was very happy to release ‘PATRU’ which is maybe the most approachable record in SP discography so far.

Leaving Hades by Micromelancolié

An important source for Daryl Worthington aka Beachers were cassettes discarded to the bargain bins of Latvian charity shops. He used them to create beautiful, fragile tape loops which are at the heart of slow burning synth jams of ‘I Wanna Be Your Wall’.

Would you place the label in a certain local / global scene?

Many argue if such a thing as a tape scene still exist. But in a short time I run Czaszka I already found out there are people who care about each other’s music and are open to exchange ideas and tapes. I’m enthusiastic about this global connection. Shout outs here to Pawlacz Perski, A Giant Fern, Spring Brakes Tapes, SEAGRAVE, videogamemusic, Wounded Knife, Fort Evil Fruit, Adventures in Dubbing, NTS and others who were very supportive from the start. 

For sure the fact I’m an emigrant from Poland living in the UK has a meaning. I’m feeling a connection with a culture from so called Eastern Europe, it’s an important part of my background (especially its underground culture and unique phenomenon like Polish Radio Experimental Studio or Romanian spectralism). It’s great to highlight projects like Somnoroase Păsărele, Bouchons d’Oreilles or Micromelancolié. I’m glad if they can get wider, global attention.

What are you working on now / future?

I’ve just finished a guest mix for Spool’s Out radio show. I’m planning a new batch which should be ready in September: Morkebla, African Ghost Valleyand Kamil Kowalczyk

I’m also working with my friend Zeena on a local level. We’re planning to organise our music nights here in Edinburgh and get involved in few other local projects.

And finally I want to start my own experiments with an old reel to reel tape recorder I got as a present from my friend. It just needs a few more repairs.