We are not musicians. We don’t exactly know what we’re doing, but firstly — it gives us pleasure,
secondly — the effect is satisfying enough to stop stuffing it in our own drawers.
The results were dark, dirty, minimalistic and sometimes even primitive combinations of beats, which alternated with recordings of fairy tales or the speeches of ‘charismatic leaders’, adding some humorous (or even sarcastic) undertones to these noisy projects.
Two guys in a dingy basement with lots of colourful effects, old radio receivers, toy keyboards, dictaphones, synthesizers and tapes found in rubbish bins, recorded their first album #1 on December 12, 2015. However, the band Mazut theoretically formed two years earlier… During that time Paweł Starzec and Michał Turowski were discussing the concept of their music, but after moving to Warsaw, they abandoned all these fixed ideas and just started improvising — Paweł Starzec focused on rhythms and melodies, Michał Turowski took care of stuctures and noises. This proves the importance of real-time interactions between artists. I mean, when two people with instruments meet, anything can happen… The Mazut members meeting turned out to explore and connect the inspirations of acid techno, noise, lo-fi, and industrial electronic experiments. Since then, they acknowledge that their sonic paths will be surely and constantly changing in future.
Walkmans, old effects and many unidentifiable objects are being used to create a weird mix of club rhythms, radio hits and sound experiments. Lutto Lento is a nickname of Polish producer, Lubomir Grzelak, who runs the Sangoplasmo label. On one occasion, you immerse yourself in the pulsating mantra-like vocals, which turn into dance beats (IA MIX 210 Lutto Lento), other times you can hear some old-commercials-like jokes (Mondo hehe), another time some disturbing wailing (Weakness) or distorted vocals from another world (Sirena)… Even when he plays the most popular club beat (onomatopoeia: unce-unce-unce) he places a wandering, crazy flute in the background. Live tape manipulations, numerous distortions, old hits combined with current club flow and musique concrète appear to be a constant play with hauntology. You’ll never know what to expect, but your aural curiosity will be fully satisfied.
If it rings a bell, you must know that this is also the name of the IKEA mattress. Two experimenters, Mikołaj Laskowski and Jacek Sotomski, improvise on tapes and recorders, crack and mix plundered audio material, such as fragments of old TV shows, ringtones, muzak tracks and their own voices. Their combinations of multiple samples, which evoke the messy styles from 1980s and 90s, when the signal picked up by radio transmitters of TV antennas was often disturbed, are marked by an outstanding sense of humour, visible also on their songs’ titles (such as “Jedi’s Glowing Cheese”,”Festival of Retards” or “Baroque Fart”), video, visualisations and outfits (Halloween Batman or Caribbean skull mask).
Well, this band doesn’t fit musically to this SoundLab’s edition, but it definitely has something in common — a specific sense of humour. How comes “Nagrobki” (which means “tombstone” in Polish) can be described as something hilarious? Adam Witkowski and Maciej Salamon play songs about death, and they focus on it to the extent that some people describe them as baroque punk (by analogy to baroque pop). Covers of their albums, their band logo (the letter N made of two crosses), their whole visual side, as well as the pulsing rhythms of the songs are in fact quite dark. However, when the two guys enter the stage and start to sing super-sweet lines, similar to the ones from kindergarten (like “roses are red, the sky is blue”), and then quickly change the subject to inevitable death hiding round every corner… Believe me, afterwards you just see your life differently. It’s unexplainable, but few seconds later you find yourself in a weird situation where you’re jumping around, smiling and screaming “death” with the crowd. Another charming element of the show is that you end up observing the musicians trying to maintain their pokerface during the show, but sometimes their conceptual seriousness breaks down and reveals two artists truly enjoying the absurdity of the situation and the ambience they’ve created through their music (which paradoxically seem to be very honest and close to reality):
wherever I go – the death goes
whatever I do – I do death
wherever I am – there is death
whatever I have to – I have to death
and you, only you will be my lady
and you, only you will be my Mary
„Nie chcę myśleć o śmierci” / „I don’t wanna think about the death”:
This song will be about something colourful
This song will be about something very nice
I walk the street and don’t wanna think about death
When the sun shines – I don’t wanna think about death
This band doesn’t record concept-albums, they are, themselves, one big concept.
Written by Anna Prokop
Edited by Maggie Kuzan