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.
Rasta Kasta – Bongostan is available on iTunes*
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Ikebana is Tomek Sawczuk (Vocal / Guitar / Effects), Michał Kułak (Synths) and Piotr Sawczuk (Percussion) an alt electro-rock band from Bialystok in Poland.
Bringing together acid jazz and traditional rock, Ikebana turn round with an experimental futurism that has familiar templates carved with schisms of electronica which sear through the speakers. Whilst challenging the listener, the journeys to the edges are not demanding of suspension of all that is recognizable as, the diversions do relate to the basic storyline.
The percussion keeps the material within a framework which demands of the other instrumentation a continued progression and the audience has a discernible, faint though it may be, route with which to connect. New material is somewhat scant, so it would be good if Ikebana were to provide a musical update on where the story has developed.
Inside the sounds with their extended transitions and looping progressions there is a broad cultural reference as sounds can be heard from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. This seems somewhat appropriate given the slightly apocalyptic nature of the future they portray sonically where industrial electronics hold the greatest influence.
The trio produce music which demands full attention to emit its full impact and in my view the challenge thrown down by Ikebana is worth taking the time and concentration to engage.
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Kurws is an indie rock band centred around the trio of Dawid Bargenda (Drums), Hubert Kostkiewicz (Guitar) and Jakub Majchrzak (Bass) from Wroclaw in Poland.
A little like the name of the band which sometimes includes a ‘The‘ with or without brackets before Kurws, the line-up can also vary – extending up to six with the addition of any of a number of Piotrek Zabrodzki (Keyboard), Oskar Carls (Saxophone) and Wojtek Bajda (Clarinet). The fluidity of the name and line-up epitomises the very nature of the band, who seek to deliver music which reflects of a range of agit-rock eras and through the addition of some fairly obscure instruments the band is able to deliver a sound that is injected with that sense of change.
First appearing as a concept back in 2008 the band has sought to maintain a living and breathing reference point of the society around, which they successfully, capture offering the audience music which is simultaneously confrontational and though provoking.
With their iconic style, Kurws probably will ever remain as an underground outfit and in my opinion, the broader world is missing the opportunity to engage with one of the most relevant acts around at present. So it is with some pleasure I take this opportunity to introduce the band on Emerging Indie Bands, the website which tries to give the best smaller bands a place to be heard in an international context.
A new LP is close to being finished, with release in the next few months.
Kurws – Ucieczka od wolności / Escape from Freedom (from 5″ vinyl split with AGATHOCLES ) from Kurws on Vimeo.
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