stara rzeka, innercity ensemble, polish underground

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I don't think there's been a thread on this yet (no search doesn't help) although I think these guys have been briefly discussed here and there on other threads (metal? albums of the year?).

Anyway, I've just started listening to this stuff - after repeatedly seeing them being mentioned on The Quietus and on the strength of a few samples bought the last Stara Rzeka album on Bandcamp on Fri. They - and the other associated bands - have more or less instantly become a new musical infatuation. Hitting all the right notes of metal, drone, jazz and folk for me, sometimes all at once.

Anyone else into this? Have any other recommendations for similar bands/labels for someone who has just dipped his toe into this world...? Would love to hear more like it!

Federico Boswarlos, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 01:51 (two years ago) link

Popular band among the ilm metal fans here. Theyve made the yearly metal poll countdown before.

as have quite a few Polish metal bands

Odysseus, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 02:09 (two years ago) link

you can see the previous results here Previous Metal Poll EOY Results Thread

Odysseus, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 02:14 (two years ago) link

actually that might just link to the 2016 results so open the whole thing. I forget which years they placed

drugs a money will excitedly help you out btw

Odysseus, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 02:16 (two years ago) link

I spent a decent amount of money to fly to Poland to pick up the CD.

Actually, I had them fly the CD to me from Poland. Still, one of the more expensive CD purchases I made.

Also worth it.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Tuesday, 7 February 2017 03:05 (two years ago) link

I really loved the Alameda 5 album, Duch Tornada--released concurrently with the second Stara Rzeka album--which draws a lot from the electronics side of SR's sound, but sculpts into a sort of Dali-esque space rock.

Stream here:

gaznevada coombes (Drugs A. Money), Tuesday, 7 February 2017 05:09 (two years ago) link

It's weird, I absolutely love Stara Rzeka but the Alameda 3/5 and other related stuff I've heard hasn't done a great deal for me. I'll try again some day

ultros ultros-ghali, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 15:14 (two years ago) link

think it may have placed in the normal 2015 album poll

nxd, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 15:15 (two years ago) link

ah yeh ILM's Top 77 Albums of 2015

nxd, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 15:17 (two years ago) link

Sanpaku should post here too, hopefully: there was a lot of Instant Classic on that poster's albums ballot this year

gaznevada coombes (Drugs A. Money), Tuesday, 7 February 2017 16:23 (two years ago) link

Cool, going to dig into that metal EOY list, thanks for sharing. Need to give more of those bands on Instant Classic a listen to, too. Will give Alameda 5 a try, any other recommendations would be very welcome :)

Federico Boswarlos, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 17:04 (two years ago) link

Also may be of interest - I just discovered Waclaw Zimpel, a clarinetist who travels in similar circles and I believe tours with Stara Rzeka.

Moody, ambient jazz and keyboard soundscapes - reminds me of Emeralds (and Steve Hauschildt + Mark McGuire's solo work as well), among others.

Check his new(ish?) album

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 9 February 2017 17:21 (two years ago) link

Zimpel also responsible for this one (both are worth your time)

Dinsdale, Thursday, 9 February 2017 18:08 (two years ago) link

Co-sign that Waclaw Zimpel record (Lines) - very good indeed. Casting around for comparisons; probably closest to Colin Stetson, the Necks and maybe Dawn of Midi.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 9 February 2017 20:29 (two years ago) link

Wow, Zimpel is right up my alley, thanks. (Stara Rzeka obv awesome.)

My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Friday, 10 February 2017 02:49 (two years ago) link

Cool, I'll check his other album out, too! Yes, Colin Stetson and Necks seem to be good points of comparison (don't know Dawn of Midi but will give 'em a listen).

Enjoying Alameda 5 too. I think I've probably got an order from Instant Classic coming up in my immediate future.

Federico Boswarlos, Friday, 10 February 2017 14:31 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Here's another release from Zimpel:

Saagara - 2

Dinsdale, Sunday, 19 March 2017 22:21 (two years ago) link

love stara rzeka, but as the project is done (i think?) and remained rather obscure, i can't imagine this thread will see much activity going fwd.

in the interest of expanding towards "polish underground" in general, i'll mention duszę wypuścił (bandcamp), a band i heard for the first time the other day. more punk primitive and rock-based than stara rzeka, but similar in their mixture of black metal, polish folk and art music of various sorts. ultimately quite different in that post punk and gothic elements frequently dominate, dotted with noise, drone & concrete interludes suggesting 70s industrial. and one of the two main vocalists has a great siouxsie thing going.

unfortunately, like stara rzeka, they're already gone. they changed their name to wędrowcy tułacze zbiegi (bandcamp) c 2013, in the process losing the female vocalist who brought so much character and energy to their recordings as duszę wypuścił. and whose name i can't find anywhere on the dang internet :/

The sandwiches looked quite dank. (contenderizer), Monday, 20 March 2017 04:40 (two years ago) link

Saagara 2 is fab. Stara Rzeka continues as a live 'act' but I live in hope that Kuba will record another LP under this banner.

Doran, Monday, 20 March 2017 21:17 (two years ago) link

Cool, I'll definitely check out the new Zimpel - also duszę wypuścił sound good (from what I've just listened on their bandcamp) and I'm in agreement on their first vocalist. I'm finding the more recent stuff is harder to get into.

Doran, if you're John Doran of the Quietus, I must give you massive thanks - I don't know if I ever would have come across any of this stuff if it weren't for your site. Keep up the great work, mate!

Federico Boswarlos, Monday, 20 March 2017 22:19 (two years ago) link

Ah, a pleasure, thanks!

Doran, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 23:58 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

"The Luminous Guitar Craft of Alameda Duo" is the newest incarnation of Alameda collective. This time Jakub Ziołek and Mikołaj Zieliński present their unique and acoustic view on Greek musical tradition and American Primitivism. "I need to admit that it was Rafał Iwański (X-Navi:et, Innercity Ensemble, Alameda 5) who can be called a godfather of this project. That's mainly due to him bringing me a cassette version of Christodoulos Halaris' album 'Music of Ancient Greece' that I instantly fell in love with," says Ziołek. "It inspired me to create sounds indebted to ancient Greek music - this meaning rhythms and their influence on melodies, repetitions, extending far beyond what we got used to. After some time though, new parts and inspirations came into view and I had to modify my previous assumptions," he adds. "Robbie Basho was also inspired by Greek music so you will be able to spot some American Primitivism on Alameda Duo's album. But that's not so much due to fingerpicking but more thanks to a way our compositions create this characteristic atmosphere. Aside from acoustic guitars, we decided to use also a classical Greek-Turkish bouzouki," Ziołek explains. 
Recording session of "The Luminous Guitar Craft of Alameda Duo" took place in the Evangelical-Augsburg church in Alameda's home town of Bydgoszcz, a place of outstanding acoustics. "During the day there's a lot of noise generated by cars passing through the street so we decided to record at night. We wrapped up the sessions at around 6AM and I need to admit that this was an interesting experience that took its toll on the songs," Ziołek recalls. see less

Releases August 31, 2017 
Recording: Jachu Czado 
Mix: Jakub Ziołek 
Mastering: Marcin Bociński 
Cover art: Magdalena Syboń 
Mikołaj Zieliński - 12string acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, EHX Superego, lyrics 
Jakub Ziołek - 6string acoustic guitar, zither, boss DD6, vocals #almedaduo #kubaziolek#instantclassic #americanprimitive #acoustic#greekmusic #folk

the underground is pass-agg (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 10 August 2017 21:11 (two years ago) link

that halaris album slays. good sign

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 10 August 2017 21:21 (two years ago) link

Oh, this is great.

Doran, Thursday, 10 August 2017 22:47 (two years ago) link

Yeahhhhhhhhh that sounds amazing

the underground is pass-agg (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 11 August 2017 05:25 (two years ago) link

That's lovely. Sounds oddly like what you might get if you left bowls behind Big Star amps and collected what leaked out overnight.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 11 August 2017 19:50 (two years ago) link

I just tried to click like on the above post. I must be tired. The Zimpel/Ziolek album keeps on getting put back and put back. I have no idea why. Here's the lead track from earlier this year if anyone missed it:

Doran, Saturday, 12 August 2017 14:26 (two years ago) link

two months pass...

new record is out!

nxd, Thursday, 12 October 2017 14:33 (one year ago) link

Zimpel/Ziołek is great and I also urge you to listen to BNNT's Multiverse, also on Instant Classics and released on the same day.

ˈʌglɪɪst preɪ, Saturday, 14 October 2017 10:41 (one year ago) link

Wow, Zimpel/Ziolek is way up my alley. Bought it on one listen.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 14 October 2017 14:03 (one year ago) link

thanks for the tip. this is great

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 14 October 2017 15:46 (one year ago) link

Folk into this stuff should keep their eyes peeled for the new Lotto album, VV coming soon on Instant Classic. Hints of My Disco, Earth and the Necks. Also a very Motorpsycho/King Crimson leaning Merkabah album due soon.

Doran, Saturday, 14 October 2017 23:26 (one year ago) link

Folk into this stuff should keep their eyes peeled for the new Lotto album, VV coming soon on Instant Classic. Hints of My Disco, Earth and the Necks. Also a very Motorpsycho/King Crimson leaning Merkabah album due soon.

Doran, Saturday, 14 October 2017 23:26 (one year ago) link

So nice I had to post twice. Apols.

Doran, Saturday, 14 October 2017 23:26 (one year ago) link

"memory dome" is amazing. bowie's ghost on sax

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 17 October 2017 13:57 (one year ago) link

Yes!! Thanks for posting this, just ordered the Zimpel/Ziolek as well. Will definitely check out the Lotto album, too.

Federico Boswarlos, Tuesday, 17 October 2017 15:17 (one year ago) link

this Zimpel/Ziolek is incredible.

Non-Stop Erotic Calculus (bmus), Tuesday, 17 October 2017 18:33 (one year ago) link

yes it is, thanks y'all

sleeve, Thursday, 26 October 2017 02:00 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

This is also v good based on the one song available to stream.

Federico Boswarlos, Monday, 20 November 2017 15:48 (one year ago) link

Oh man, I'd forgotten this was coming out. This album is superb.

Doran, Monday, 20 November 2017 16:45 (one year ago) link

Rest of the album is up to stream and sounds just as good!

Has anyone had any issues ordering with Instant Classic? I still haven't received the Zimpel/Ziolek CD I got a bit over a month ago and in the past have had to wait a long time to receive my order. Curious if this is just me? Or the post office where I am, or something else.

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 23 November 2017 21:11 (one year ago) link

Obviously if you've not received something you should email them and there's no excuses for poor service etc. but Maciek and his pal run the label in their spare time outside of their day jobs. And it's run as a non-profit, so all of the turn over goes directly into producing the next batch of CDs/vinyl etc. I get the impression they're stretched pretty thin and then if they have a big festival like Unsound Krakow on with a lot of LPs coming out at the same time, I could imagine that they'd get stretched pretty thin. So, yeah, they're a cottage industry and appear (to me at least) to be constantly hustling...

Doran, Friday, 24 November 2017 23:20 (one year ago) link

It took a while but I got the Z Z disc, I live on West Coast of US

sleeve, Sunday, 26 November 2017 17:02 (one year ago) link

Thanks for responding and for the context. I've been experiencing some delays on other orders over the last couple of months, so I'll give it some more time before I send anything to follow up. If they didn't ship it out right away, it may still be another week or two before arriving.

Federico Boswarlos, Sunday, 26 November 2017 22:37 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Mentioned prior to release by Doran up thread but not enough love demonstrated for the Merkabah - Million Miles album. Great raw-edged skronky prog.

Gonk Steady Crew (Noel Emits), Monday, 16 April 2018 15:46 (one year ago) link

One Eye Sees Red by Lonker See is pretty great:

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 20 April 2018 21:37 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

Keep coming back to the Zimpel/Ziolek and Alameda Duo records from last year. Both essential.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Sunday, 13 May 2018 16:25 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

I thought the Merkabah album had kind of gone under the radar but it's at No.67 for 2017 on RYM. That's quite high isn't it. Brutal prog metal type stuff does seem to be especially popular on that site for some reason.

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Friday, 17 August 2018 20:34 (one year ago) link

Not that that's exactly how I'd describe it but I can see how it would fit with that sort of thing.

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Friday, 17 August 2018 20:35 (one year ago) link

six months pass...

Alameda 5:

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:36 (six months ago) link

excellent stuff

nxd, Tuesday, 19 March 2019 10:23 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

Instant Classic have free worldwide shipping until the end of May. Just rubbing my eyes at the fact that I got the Alameda Duo vinyl for less than £10 delivered.

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Sunday, 19 May 2019 18:01 (three months ago) link

Tell a lie, it was the Zimpel/Ziolek vinyl. The Alameda Duo CD was £5. Madness.

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Sunday, 19 May 2019 18:14 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Not sure if it's the right place to post it since the thread's mostly about stuff on Instant Classic, but there's a great new jazz album by EABS called Slavic Spirits, out today on Astigmatic Records.

Inspired by deliberations of many musicians, but also historians, journalists, writers, and even psychotherapists, new compositions began to appear rapidly, pouring out of the band’s spirit and imagination. The material is also an attempt to radically break out of the status quo of national mythology which currently steers the collective imagination of the Polish society. The musicians turned to Slavic mythology and Polish demonology, while pondering upon the contemporary spiritual condition of Poles. The enigmatic “Slavic melancholy” remains the main inspiration for the following album, as the band tried to extract it from their own DNA. Slavic Spirits is an an endeavour to get in touch with the world of a long- and brutally lost culture which, due to lack of sources, will never be thoroughly explored. A piece called “The Darkness” is a metaphor of this obscurity and the blank page in the history of our ancestors. What follows is a trip to the woods and fields where we face two demons ruling those realms, namely “Woodland Spirit” and “The Noon Witch”. In the end, we climb a marshy and foggy holy mountain (“Ślęża”) to eventually practice ritual “Sun Worship”.

(They also released a fantastic Krzysztof Komeda-inspired record two years ago.)

ˈʌglɪɪst preɪ, Friday, 7 June 2019 19:08 (three months ago) link

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