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Poznaň hyperactive

Published September, 2010
by Easterndaze

Napszyklat in the building where their current studio is located.

The Poznaň music scene was probably the most interconnected and interesting from any Polish towns we had visited during our trip. Not only is Poznaň the home of many Pink Punk projects and also the hometown of Pink Punk’s godfather Konrad Smolenski, it is also a town where many other music producers live, work and collaborate.

In the cold morning of Monday the 30th August we met up with the guys from the Napszyklat project. Marek and Robert took us to their current working place – a backstage of a gallery turned into a recording studio where their new album is being prepared. We spoke about originality in the context of Eastern EU music projects, about the way how their new electronic hip-hop album will sound like, about Marek and how he creates samples from anything that emits sound in his backyard.

NP Poduszkowiec 1&2 by npmusic

Later on we managed to hook up with Monika Pich, a punkish electronic music producer whose earlier solo output was a techno-influenced sound overlaid with Monika’s occasional singing or spoken word resembling an angsty and existentialist version of Antye Graue Fuchs’ project AGF. Now Monika is working to develop her new project Molotov’s Cocktail – a collaboration with more musicians coming from diverse backgrounds which she describes as a techno meets trance meets bass and rock music. An artistic internationalist, another of her projects in the pipeline is a collaboration with London-based grime MCs. 

That day we also speak to Radek Dziubek from the project Grobbing Thristle. Radek explains to us that the wordplay in the name of his band is a nod to the UK stalwarts Throbbing Gristle and other pre-industrial and post-punk projects. Radek goes to great lengths to explain that even though the sound of his last record is dark and drony sludge which is released on a dark ambient / doom Polish label Beast of Prey, GT’s sonics should not be associated with any negative emotions. Grobbing Thristle are currently working on a new record.

The Wroclaw-based experimentalist Dawid Szczesny, apart from his solo work, is also affiliated with the project Niwea, a collaboration with the charismatic personality that is Wojciech Bakowski – a poet, visual and sound artist whose obsession is to work with his voice and words. We visit Wojciech in a concrete block of flats, an identikit East European building, a relict of the Communist times most of us here live or have lived at some point in our lives. Wojciech, dressed in a tracksuit bottom which contrasts with his glossy shaven head, shows us his latest work – both musical and conceptual, as he is also a successful artist – that he puts together in the “tiniest studio in Poland”. On the surreal backdrop of Niwea’s coldwave-influenced music and seated in his guestroom-bedroom, we speak about Niwea’s surprising commercial success in Poland and also about Wojciech striving to merge two aspects of speech – the sound and symbolic levels in his ouvre.

Darkness descends on the grey and gloomy Poznan as we meet the young and determined Iwona, a cultural management student who’s active as a singer in Hellow Dog, but whom me meet primarily because of her electro-pop project Rebeka. We speak with about her ambition to be dedicated only to music in future, about promoters offering no money for shows in Poland and also about a new live-act she is currently preparing.

The next day, another cold and depressing morning, we leave Poznaň for Berlin by train. The ride takes only two and a half hours during which we exit Poland and thus end our music exploration there. Writing this from a chaotic and polluted Belgrade, only in retrospect we are able to see Poland as probably one of the most westernized Ostblok countries we have visited so far.