When it was announced that The Very Polish Cut-Outs was to call it a day, we took solace in the fact that co-founder Maciej Zambon would have more time to pursue other ventures, namely his other label, Transatlantyk. Adventurous and evocative, laced with shades of balearic, cosmic and exotica, a flurry of nine releases have emerged on the imprint since Zambon and Kacper Kapsa discontinued TVPCO in early 2016. But rather than unearthing obscure treasures of Eastern European origin, the label concerns itself with showcasing music from a cohort of producers belonging to Poland’s contemporary electronic scene.
Released back in June, a second volume in the label’s Trans Afryka series welcomed a Matt Brzeźny, AKA Tamten, into the fold. With the imminent release of the Warsaw producer’s full solo debut, he and Zambon have picked out a few of their favourite Polish oddities.
1. Laboratorium – Ikona / An Icon – In Memory Of Zbigniew Seifert (1979)
Laboratorium is probably my favourite Polish jazz groups delivering a smooth chilled out jazz track with nice synth pads, awesome guitar licks and psychedelic vocals. Balearic Bigos classic.
2. Kontrola W – To będzie koniec (1998)
I don’t know much about this band rock band from Zduńska Wola which I think only made a few tracks. This particular one I discovered thanks to Schmoltz from Grodno who sent me an edited version of it. The title means “This will be the end”. So whenever I have the chance I choose it for the last track of the party. If Jim Jarmusch was Polish this one for should would made its way to on of his movies.
3. Papa Dance – Papa Dance (Instrumental) (1985)
Papa Dance. The first polish ‘boy band’. The only one good track they ever made in my opinion. The rest is unlistenable and very cheesy in the worst possible way. This particular track was only included as a bonus of their cassette release of their debut album.
4. Arp-Life – Bu-Bu (1977)
Arp Life – the band of Andrzej Korzyński (famous musician and soundtrack composer) is the essence of Polish synth jazz-funk for me. This track has it all. Spaced out synths, fuzzy guitars, piano solo and undeniable slavic charm.
5. Richard Kruza & Zbigniew Namyslowski – Clockwork Nostalgy (Motorikus Nosztalgia) (1988)
Released on Hungarian Krém label in 1988 this amazing collaboration is on of my favourite nostalgic synth tracks from the ’80s, that could have easily made it to Software’s ‘Digital Dance’ beating all the other tracks on there.
1. Księżyc – Śmieszki (1996)
This track comes from my favourite Polish album recorded by group Księżyc in 1996. They produced as beautiful, as experimental kind of avant-garde folk music – ambient style, very forward thinking, ahead of it’s time.
2. Urbaniax – Mama Papaya (1984)
Quirky, heavy-synthesised version of a hit track recorded almost a decade earlier by Urszula Dudziak and her husband Michał Urbaniak. This one comes from my favourite Urbaniak’s album, recorded under Urbaniax moniker, where he used very modern (futuristic sometimes) production techniques.
3. Mikołaj Hertel – Żaglowce W Deszczu (1993)
One of my favourite polish ambient tracks of all time. I love the vibe of the whole album Dźwięki Morza – it came out in the year I was born and I don’t think it’s a coincidence, it was a huge inspiration for me when I was working on my EP, Diamentowa Sutra.
4. Ryszard Sygitowicz – Bez Grwitacji (1985)
Title track of a brilliant record by polish well-known guitarist, the album is still pretty rare and undiscovered by the wider public though. Compositions were very modern and impressive, sounding like nothing else produced in Poland back then.
5. Marek Biliński – Dom W Dolinie Mgieł (1984)
Taken from E≠mc2 – polish, electronic classic. Very odd, cheesy, new age vibes rocking on heavy down-tempo beat. Worth checking though, the guy was challenging Einstein!
The Diamentowa Sutra EP is out October 31st on Transatlantyk – pre-order direct from the label here.