Adventurous Music In The Czech Republic 2015
Inspired by Slavo Krekovic’s list of 100+ Slovak adventurous releases from 2015, the Prague based website His Voice has compiled a list of 181 recordings from the independent and alternative realms of Czech music.
Once again, I picked 10 of my personal favorites in no particular order.
Following up from their 2010 self-titled debut, Gurun Gurun, the quartet of Tomas Knoflicek, Jara Tarnovski, Ondrej Jezek, and Federsel released their sophomore album, ‘Kon B’ once again on Home Normal. The album is another supremely collaborative effort with special guests Alexandr Vatagin on cello, Irena & Vojtech Havel on alto & tenor viola da gamba, Mikel Etxegarai on drums and percussion, and last but not least, the wonderful vocal talents of Japanese artists Cuushe, Cokiyu, and Miko. Also worth checking out is the Atarashii hi EP with remixes by Mergrim, Pawn, Marihiko Hara, Nanonum and Yoz
Crinkled Tape Society is ever changing collective iniciated by Federsel (also a member of Gurun Gurun), as a part of his research on true lo-fi sound, which originated with series of Urban Camping recordings. Federsel, aka Tomáš Procházka is also the owner of the intriguing Meteorismo label the Prague based Czech-Finnish microlabel, focused on eclectic and strange music. Founded as a solution for releasing second album of project Federsel & Mäkelä and since then continuing in dealing with similar style of acoustic adventures.
Stratocluster is an ensemble engaging in multimedia improvisation, this time ‘multi’ meaning ‘obsolete’. Jabka Hrušky Meotary, out on Meteorismo, is Czech for ‘Apples, pears, overhead projectors’, reflecting both the agricultural roots of Stratocluster’s members and the incidentality of the cassette, recorded, partly unawares, on Jan Faix’s Sony TCM-359v during rehearsals for concerts utilising an overhead projector as a means for multimedia improvisation.
Der Marebrechst is the moniker of the ever prolific Petr Válek, Czech artist, experimental musician, painter, and object builder, who has released over 100 albums under different guises. Ekra Mekra is a chaotic, rambling and at times improbable but somehow compelling lo-fi affair likely to have been put together with analog, digital and software synthesizers, voice, effects, objects, field recordings, live electronics, and circuit bending. It is released as a free download on the netlabel Signals from Arkaim.
Released at the tail end of 2015 on the rather wonderful archival label Recordings on the Road, Tempori was previously published on the split CD Vincenc Holomek versus Ká together with collection of compositions Atelier Works 2004-2005 by Ká. In his own words Vincenc Holomek is an “insignificant person who creates in his free time (after work). His music is something like ‘self-communication’ – the critics call it ‘fragmentary re-interpretation’”. He is a member of The Movement of Potential Music.
Smeti is the moniker of Vojtech Smetana, the “perfect example of a typical so-called bedroom-music producer generation. His live-sets are made of his music production only and you can see no laptops on the stage, only his beloved hardware gear. You can hear everything from breaks, straight beats, glitch to minimal-dub-techno but no matter what, he always brings the eclectic energy to the table.”
Dizzcock is a member of punk-rave techno band Lightning Glove. His solo debut tape “AL” was released in 2014 along with remixes from Filter Dread, Dwellings, Raikes Parade and others on B-side. His new album Elegy of Unsung Heroes was released on 4th September 2015 on the Red For Colour Blind label. “Inspired by the music of periphery, his new album pays a tribute to all who fought for a better, more equal and supportive world, as well as those who struggle everyday under immense pressure of inequality, individualistic society and hatred of contemporary world.”
Dataloss is the debut by the analog techno modular producer Hrtl aka Leos Hort released on the 6th of December 2015 by Bukko Tapes with an impressive set up comprising of: Casio SK1, Commodore64, Elektron Analog Rytm, Eurorack Modular, Korg KPR77, Korg MS20, Korg Poly800, MI Anushri, Roland TR626, Roland TR707, Sonic Potions LXR, Yamaha CX5M, Yamaha RX5. Watch him in action
Artificial Memory Trace is the moniker of Slavek Kwi, who was born in the former republic of Czechoslovakia and grew up in the mountains near the border with Poland before going to study at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liege. Reprint is comprised of a series of field recordings taken from a printing facility in Belgium where he used work. Released on the ever excellent Lom label.
For the full list of releases visit: