The Polish experimental-agit-rock band Kurws were initially introduced in 2013.
Kurws – Wszystko Co Stałe Rozpływa Się W Powietrzu ( All That Is Solid Melts Into Air) – artwork
From the LP Wszystko Co Stałe Rozpływa Się W Powietrzu (All That Is Solid Melts Into Air) (available on bandcamp)- Leo Taxil reflects on the tension between State, Masonic Lodges and Religion as perceived by a journalist in a just under three minute kaleidoscope of colliding instrumental.
As with almost all of the material of Kurws the audience is challenged by both sounds and concepts as they transition history and current-day events through their experimental compositions. Leo Taxil transposes both time (late 19th Century) and geography (France) to a commentary on 21st Century Poland.
SPOIWO from Gdansk in Poland is the ambient-drone quartet of Paweł Bereszczyński (Bass), Piotr Gierzyński (Guitar), Simona Jambor (Synth), Krzysztof Sarnek (Drums) and Krzysztof Zaczyński (Synth).
SPOIWO – photo credit Justyna Szadkowska
Drifting through the room like slowly rolling clouds SPOIWO deliver music that wraps the listener in threads of silk as the seemingly infinite layers of texture gently fall to earshot. The gradually evolving compositions, captivate the attention as they, ease their way around the room and like relaxing in an isolation tank time slows to an imperceptible pace.
SPIOWO have enamoured themselves to an expanding global audience with their finely blended orchestrations where synths and instruments seemingly melt one into the other in seamless billowing compositions.
This is not music to take out on a training run, rather to slowly imbibe like a fine Bordeaux, savouring the nuances and evolving richness.
Although having been around for a few years it was only in March they released their début LP Salute Solitude (which is available on bandcamp).
One can only hope it isn’t another half decade for the follow-up album.
A live version of I Want It Back was recently captured on video.
From the opening warmth of the keyboard to the closing sequencer three minutes and eleven seconds later the audience is enraptured by the combinations of electronics, drum-pad, cymbals and sympathetic vocal. Agi Brine are able to utilise the gadgetry, not to make complicated obscurity rather, to strip away to the fundamentals and deliver a sound that has a heartening earthiness that you just want to hold closely.
An EP – Fillin’ Empty Spaces is due for imminent release and well worth getting hold of as Agi Brine utilise piano and Flute in the release giving the material ever wider contact points.
Rumbling in Kraków in Poland is the trio of Michał Piech (Drums), Katie Hurdles (Guitar / Vocals / Casio GZ – 5) and Paweł Tasak (Bass / Violin / Pedalboard) who form the suicide-rock band Katie Caulfield.
Thrusting through the room Katie Caulfield deliver uncompromising palls of angst-riven melancholia which reflects on the world around. The excoriating sinews of sound cleave their way into the bloodstream like an injection of an over-dose of heroin, first there is bliss then there is excruciating pain as the trio twist and turn their way through the lymphatic system. The rawness of composition gives the band the ability to pin-point the most exposed nerve.
Katie Caulfield provide the ears with unsympathetic tourniquets, which strangle the listener with their very fractiousness as the trio sword-fight the instrumentation and an out of key vocal emphasises the discordance of a percussion which pummels ever onwards.
Though only a year old Katie Caulfield has been able to establish a live performance circuit and on the 8th released their début LP – Sow Thistles (available on bandcamp), which is well worth grabbing hold of, along with a phone to hand to call an ambulance when it cuts too deeply.
Bongostan from Opole in Poland is the dancehall octet of Kinga Berkowicz, Paweł Kinder, Krzysiek Ogiela, Jacek Halaba, Kamil Majewski, Tomek Bartoszewski, Bartek Drozd and Paweł Mrocheń.
With a flourish of instruments Bongostan bring bright sunshine into the room. Having recently reviewed a number of bands from Poland, this is so far away from the majority of the local sounds that it stands out immediately, add to which the off-beat of reggae as you know always catches my attention, so how could I do anything other than recommend you take a moment out of your day. More than all of that these players know how to work together to deliver sounds which slide into the movement of the audience. Having been through various line-up changes over the past four years whilst honing their focus, which reflect on injustice, they have developed sounds which resonate with those who get to hear them.
Bongostan have a sharp hand on their out-put and deliver music which enables them to run some experimental twists to the genre, though I personally enjoy the more pure delivery. The combinations of electronics and instrumentation work well and offer an interesting variance to the material. Singing predominately in Polish, I would posit this is the main reason they have not had a broader international take-up, which is a great pity and a reflection not on their relevance to the world of music, rather the narrow focus of many who listen to music.