The Midnight Reverie Trio, The Awarians and Gasoline will get together on a special evening in order to support a good cause.
With the goal of helping underprivileged kids getting some holidays, 3 bands set up by ex-Pats living in Krakow, will entertain you at the teatr Nowa Laznia in Nowa Huta.
Do not miss this event. Your presence can make a diference. Bring a friend as well.
Tickets are 8 zl in advance and 10 zl at the door.
01 49 Special / Cafe Crossroad / Antwerp (BE)
05 Dead Combo / Cabaret Maxime’s / Lisbon
06 wOMAN iN pANIC / Plano B / Oporto
11 Lobster / Maxime / Lisbon
13 Riding Panico / ZDB / Lisbon
21 Dead Combo / Auditorio d’A Moagem / Fundao
04 Dead Combo / Paths of Peace Festival / Rovereto (IT)
10 Dead Combo / Teatro do Campo Alegre / Oporto
13 49 Special / Great Shakin Fever - Afternoon Pool Party / Oporto
22 Dead Combo / Festival Musicas do Mundo / Sines
15 Dead Combo / Festival Mundo / Viana do Castelo
09 Bajzel / Off festival / Myslowice
12 Dead Combo / World Cultures Festival / Gdansk
As you have noticed lately, Music@PL.PT has not leaked any word on the past few months.... The situation shall continue this way until we release the new Music@PL.PT service.
My day to day life, the lack of sponsorship and other issues has let me down slightly when thinking about promoting Portuguese and Polish music. Early this year the thought of completely closing Music@PL.PT has pumped up to my mind more than once. Luckily, after talking to both readers and artists, I've decided to stick to this site.
Currently, with the support of Mr. Vitorino Araujo, we're working on a new Music@PL.PT, something that will make Portuguese and Polish music proud of. We hope to launch this service still this year, hopefully, before November 2008.
In order to bring you a better service, we are looking for people eager to participate on this project and help us taking these sounds everywhere in the world. In case you're keen on Portuguese and/or Polish music or cinema, in case you're always there, when a Polish or Portuguese band play live, and in case you'd like to share it with more people..... contact us... we're looking for more people to support this project.
Album reviews, concert reviews, new bands....... you name it!!! if made in Poland or Portugal, Music@PL.PT is the place for it.
for those interested on this project, please contact me @:
I'll share with you more info on this project.
Let Portuguese and Polish music fly far far away.....
They have both been around for some time, on solo and with other projects. As a duo, it all started back in 2002. After the release of their debut album, Nieprzyzwoite Piosenki, in 2003, and later, in 2005, Inside Story, the couple Anita Lipnicka and John Porter released early this year their third album, Goodbye, which, according to the band, marks the end of this project.
This eleven track record sees Chris Eckman taking care of production, as previously on Inside Story. The result is a journey throughout the sounds of Americana and country-folk, with beautiful and calm pop painted surroundings.
Goodbye welcomes us with fancy arrangements, catchy choirs and interpretations. The arrangements are fed by dreamy violin and cello sounds, banjo chords and a tantalising blow section. Anita and John then do the rest, singing quite sure of themselves, with their captivating voices, digging deep in your soul, finding that safe and warm place inside everyone's heart. Autumn-sad tunes are followed by happier spring-like melodies, melancholic backgrounds and nicely built textures, decorated with the sounds of several instruments (harmonicas, banjos, guitar, pianos, bass, sax, percussion,.....).
The album is some steps bellow its predecessor but still, it is really worth buying and listening for a good couple of times. Tracks like Lonesome Traveller, Good to See You, Secret Wish, You're Not The Only One and Runner Run will for sure keep you close to your stereo, sitting on the floor, holding a glass of red wine and dreaming.......
Ladies and gentlemen.... Welcome to Debiut!!!! Come closer; don't be afraid!!! And join us on this 10 track merry-go-round soundtrack .
Known to be a fan of punk and good pop music, living in Denmark since his early years, 28 years old Polish born Czeslaw Mozil released this year Czeslaw Spiewa's debut album, simply entitled Debiut (Polish for debut).
This long play smells to Balkan breezes (Ucieczka z Wesolego Miasteczka), to theatrical and cinematic aromas (closing your eyes you can find yourself easily in Amelie's world, just this time, somewhere in Krakow). It comes wrapped in colourful circus melodies, sweet candy pop textures (Maszyna do Swierkania or Efekt Uboczny Trzezwosci) and French cabaret-like backgrounds. Then, there is still space for melodic lullabies, punk and rock music inspired firecrackers (Tylem do Przodka, Mieszko i Dobrawa jako ...., Kradziez Cukierka) and the phantom-like choirs (Pozycie Malzenskie).
Debiut is an album totally sung in Polish with lyrics from Michal Zablocki and the internet collective poetry service Multipoezja. Pure joy, melancholy and melody perfumed with several instruments (accordion, piano, double-bass, trombone, guitar,....) that melt together wonderfully. The result could not have been more beautiful and surprising, certainly one of 2008's debuts of the year, together with Iowa Super Soccer's Lullabies....
Ladies and gentlemen, step in and join us on this show. Welcome to this candy called Debiut!!! Open it and discover it!!!
Latin Playboys are two lonesome men that wander around the narrow and dark streets of Lisbon carrying with each other, alongside their guitar and double-bass, nostalgia, saudade, melancholy, a bunch of unique sounds and a whole lot more.
After releasing Vol.1 and Vol.2, and last years vinyl album Guitars from Nowhere, 2008 sees these 2 gentlemen, To' Trips and Pedro V. Goncalves, return with yet another fantastic collection of tracks, now with more elaborate and careful arrangements.
Dead Combo have been called several things: from fado to western spaghetti, from cinematic tunes to blues. On this Latin Playboys, they continue walking the roads of the big screen, inspired by the sounds of the world around us, this time taking a short-cut and stepping into the moods of South America (Mexico's mariachi, Argentina's tango) or those of Cuba.
With a guest list that many would dream of (Howe Gelb on Manobras de Maio 06, Carlos Bica on Lisbon Berlin Flight 1001 and Kid Congo Powers on Cuba 1970, among others), this Lisbon-based duo present us with one of their first sung songs (Desert Diamonds / Enraptured with Lust), a phantom-like tale that drags itself throughout five long sandy minutes. The rest is all about bad cop / good cop lullabies, oriental-inspired delicacies, served with angelic choirs (just listen to the superb Like a Drug), cool guitar dancing and cello-driven moments (Putos a Roubar Macas), scents of a dreamy Cuba (Cuba 1970) or simply a couple of instruments running for simple pleasure, dressed out of any taboos, running and playing,...... but always keep on playing (Fuga em Correria).
No one ever thought that 2 men alone with their old companions, the previously mentioned guitar and double-bass, would take this idea so far and with such high standards. Dead Combo did it and it seems that they will continue doing it, in great style, as they got us all used to. at least we hope so.
The album can be bought right here. It comes together with a DVD containing a live performance on Lisbon's Maxime and several videos. In case you'd like to discover a bit more on this band, just visit them at their MySpace and get discover how these Latin Playboys sound like.
If Lucy Fell go back to the year 2004. According to the band it all started when ".....due to their ballet teachers’ lack of professionalism, Helio,.., Makoto, Pedro and Rui ... decide to hang up their ballet shoes and buy musical instruments....."
Today, the choice reveals itself as the most appropriate. 5 young lads rampaging from sunny Lisbon!!! or if you prefer..... no mercy and no damn sweet talks! Just pure beautiful noise rock led by Helio Morais (out of Linda Martini), on drums; Makoto Yagyu (out of Riding Panico), on vocals; Pedro "Gaza" Cobrado, on bass; Rui Carvalho, on guitar; and most recently Joao "Shela" Pereira (out of Riding Panico), on keyboards.
After releasing their first demo back in 2005, this quintet soon had their debut on the way. You Make Me Nervous took If Lucy Fell to several venues across Europe and their music was presented to a much wider audience.
This year, we welcome Zebra Dance; a 10 track record where noise, hardcore, punk, indie and rock all flow on the same pot. For some, an album not that easy to listen to; for others one of the best releases this year. Explosive, brutal, right on your face!!!!! Makoto Yagyu sings and screams, with an energy that will contaminate many, and for sure leave no one indifferent!!! Helio and the other three, plus special guests Joaquim Albergaria (from The Vicious Five), on La Decadence, and To Trips and Pedro Goncalves (Dead Combo), on She Lives/She Dies, do the rest.
Is it a thunderstorm? A devastating whirlwind? or is it the end? No, ... but it isn't Superman as well..... It's Zebra Dance, If Lucy Fell latest creation, an authentic burst of energy and sound!!!!
If Lucy Fell? .....What if she really fell? She'd quickly get back on her feet and continue dancing to Zebra Dance.
With the self-titled debut album released back in 1984, Radio Macau returned this 2008 with their brand new album Oito (8), their 9th release, (8 original albums plus a best of), during a long lasting career with almost 30 years gone by.
Xana, Flak, Alexandre Cortez and Luis Filipe Valentim together with Frederico (Fred) Ferreira (Yellow W Van) and Ricardo Frutuoso (ex-Toranja) decided, this time, to approach music in its simplest way, leaving all the experiments behind and embracing beautiful pop melodies without any hesitation. The result is an amazing 12 track record, with the lyrics (by Xana, Pedro Malaquias and Vitor (Vitinha) Lucas) assuming a different role, being those behind the sumptuous melodies we find among this 8. The songs? Those are perfumed with colourful and dreamy textures where simple and catchy pop songs drift slowly around ourselves as heavenly bodies, singing lovely 2 to 6 minutes long piano-driven pearls.
Letting the cd play track after track, we come across several potential singles. Este Frio da Manha, Levo-me no Voo das Minhas Asas, Cantiga d'Amor, Os Sonhos Impossiveis, Quando uma Rosa Morre, among many others, are but a few that can illustrate how difficult it must be for Radio Macau to decide on their next single.
A band of great importance on the history of Portuguese music; a band with no need to prove whatsoever to any of us. Nevertheless, Radio Macau released an album far beyond our expectations, showing that, after all, age is nothing but a number on our ID cards!!!
The album is available for streaming on Radio Macau's MySpace. In case you liked it, get it right here. The album also includes a DVD with 12 films by Jose Nascimento.
3 years after her second release, Silent Treatment, London-based Polish artist Pati Yang is back together with husband and musician Stephen Hilton on their brand new project FlyKKiLLer. The debut album gives by the name of Experiments in Violent Light and sees Pati returning in great shape to sign a highly contagious record, a fresh breeze among today's music panorama.
Supposedly "...recorded by an extra terrestrial called V who created this set (whilst in captivity in the FlyKKllr Institute in Poland) as a vessel in which to pass on her peaceful communications to us earthlings...", Experiments... is a truly melting pot where fierce guitar riffs are bathed with sexy, soul and warm vocals; big fat bass beats meet with schizophrenic and distorted sharp sound textures; psychedelic synths battle with clashing percussion drunk tracks; mutated sci-fi soundtracks crash against thriller sound bites; dark, gothic, experimental and sensual backgrounds are laid on pop, hip-hop and electro inspired tracks.
Produced by Stephen Hilton and Pati Yang themselves this 12 track debut also sees the contribution of David Holmes on the mind blowing remix for the self-titled track FlyKKiLLer. Our favourite are Fear, Peroxide, Shine Out and the original version for FlyKKiLLer. Be sure of it, once you get to listen to them, there'll a lot of crazy and mysterious things going on.
Experiments in Violent Light was released last year in the UK and this 2008 in Poland. For the Music@PL.PT troops, this is one of the most interesting debuts this 2008 and a project to keep under the radar on the nearest future.
Right next, the promo video for the electric and highly addictive Shine Out, Shine Out.
We've introduced you to this Lodz-based quartet last year, by the time we first heard about them. This year, L.Stadt are back, now with their self-titled debut album.
L.Stadt comes together with a total of 13 tracks (including an hidden track). Among these, some of the songs they got us used to (March, Fagot Eyes, Wait, Gore and Velvet) and a bunch of new tracks, including our favourites Loosing, Macca, Londyn and 13 (the hidden track, a very interesting experimental episode).
Like before, these four lads are still difficult to put on a shelf. Their music, more than before, is a colourful sound pallet, drifting among the likes of the Brian Ferry, Leonard Cohen, The The, Velvet Underground, Robert Palmer, Beck and Damon Albarn's band, Blur.
Combining pop and soul scented melodies with more experimental rock tunes, guitar driven tracks with drums meet percussion side clashes, Prince look-a-like whispered sensite sexy chorus with strong and deep cavernous vocals, Lukasz Lach, Adam Lewartowski, Radek Bolewski and Andrzej Sieczkowski deliver within this L.Stadt one of the most mature debuts I've seen around. Influences and comparisons aside, this is a hell of a debut!!!!
This is a record that will have you playing it loud and repeatedly. Songs like Marsz, with its percussion-set tempo (this band plays with drums and percussion simultaneously) and the soulful chorus, the keyboard-driven melody swirls and Beck inspired backgrounds of Macca, the low-paced cinematic pop hymn Wait, the happy merry-go-rounds Londyn and Akademia and, last but not least, the sonorous exercise at track 13, will keep sounding inside your head after the first time you listen to them..... and in case you catch them live, then, it will even be worse....
Get the album right here. Find more on L.Stadt at their MySpace.
Wojtek, Bartosz and Piotr.... father, two sons and Meska Muzyka.
Wojtek Waglewski, composer, vocalist, guitarist and producer, an institution within Polish music, .....; Bartek, a.k.a. Fisz, painter, radio dj and hip-hop artist; and Piotrek "Emade" Waglewski, dj, producer and percussionist; together with guests Marcin Masecki on keyboards, Bartek "Boruta" Leczycki on harmonica and Envee on tambourine, released Meska Muzyka, a record that gathers 15 tracks with some of the most interesting music this country has seen recently.
After working together on Maria Peszek's debut album and some Voo Voo releases, Wojtek, Fisz and Emade got together again, to sign this first record on their own. As part of the Strefa Inne Brzmienia series, these three set foot on a musical journey that would take them into the world of country music, blues and rock, coloured by some of the most interesting new urban sounds, where sounds from other locations and projects would inspire their music.
With Wojtek assuming a big share of the lyrics, music and vocals (alone he signed 9 tracks out of 15), Fisz and Emade were left with vocals and lyrics for 6 other songs (Fisz) and production (Emade). In result, 50 minutes of music that will keep you close to your stereo system for long long time, and have you hit replay quite often.
Whereas Fisz brought to this record part of his music experiments and vision (Majty, the high-speed adrenaline Sport, the blues-flavoured Badminton and the slow runner Wakacje), Wojtek Waglewski perfumed it with his voice and guitar that walks with us side by side, during these fifty minutes (Dziob Pingwina, Wladca Kol, Niezmiennie,.....) but this scent is not guitar alone! Emade's percussion gives Meska Muzyka more character and consistancy, not forgeting Boruta's harmonica and Marcin's keyboards.
Meska Muzyka comes together with a 40 page booklet containing interviews with Wojtek, Fisz and Emade, lyrics, photos by Tomek Sikora and drawings by Fisz himself.
Defining himself as a normal person that loves music and that sometimes, gets his yellow hat on, and starts singing some songs, Walter continues this 2008 the folk "golden era" that Mazgani and Sean Riley & The Slowriders unveiled last year.
These are beautifully written delicate songs, crowded with weeping melodies, sounding melancholic and sad, even though sometimes they shine as much as a nice Summer day. Together with his "cheap" acoustic guitar, the tear dropping piano notes, percussion, synths and other instruments, were are told little and personal stories, mainly on matters of love and death, flavoured with slow paced trembling vocals and a touch of Uncle Sam's folk tunes.
With influences ranging from The Magnetic Fields and Lambchop, down to Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen and Elliott Smith, among many others, Walter Benjamin, the musician, is surely a name to keep an eye on.
This year, I exceeded myself a bit with this Best of The Year thing. My work kept me away from my computer more than I thought so.....
One month and a half later than expected, ladies and gentlemen, Portugal's 2007 Top 20 Records.
Before that, I'm quite pleased to say that more than half of these bands released last 2007 their debut album. Some, as Lobster, have been around for longer, but their full-length saw the light only last year.
Rude Boy Stand; most likely the best hip hop, ragga, dub album released in Portugal in 2007; most likely, one of the best released in the past few years.
Signing as Bezegol, this DJ, MC and producer delivers here his first solo album, taking a little break from his band Matazoo. Not wanting to limit himself to another hip hop album, another Jamaican-like reggae release or any East side/West side North American influenced product, Bezegol decided, within these 15 tracks, to create something that would take him above all others releasing similar music. Crossing hip hop with reggae, dub with soul and fado (yes, you read it properly), Bezegol uses his raw, crude and strangely attractive vocals to show us his point of view on society, politics and family.
Moving track after track, we go through some “friendly” reggae tracks (Fire, Roots of Evil), across other dirty and raw ragga beat tunes (Clockwork Bomb, Colision), slow-burnin' soul hymns (Forever Love), to other tunes blinking an eyes to the French hip hop “brothers” with special guests Souljah and Tito on After This, not forgetting the reggae fado-like Let Them Know, perfumed with Pedro Aires’ Portuguese guitar. The list of special does not finish here. Among others, Rude Boy Stand is perfumed with the contributions of New Max, Condutor, Dj Kronic and Dj Ride.
New skool, old skool…. What the hell!!!! Rude Boy Stand has arrived and stood strong on 10th!
Even though, at first sight, you might think The Allstar Project is another super star band, with members from a couple of known rock groups, think twice; TAP are six lads that back in 2002/2003 decided to grab their instruments and come storming down the country with their rampaging and energetic post rock sound!!!
After releasing 2 EPs back in 2003 and 2006 (see reviews on Music@PL.PT), 2007 sees TAP releasing their 8 track full-length debut album. With influences going from GYBE!, Explosions In The Sky and Mogway, these 6 lads together with their 3 guitar front, bass, piano, percussion and sampling created one of the most interesting debuts this year; a record of many emotions, a record of many faces!!
As the tracks pass in front of us, one after another, it is difficult to keep our emotions low. Some of these tracks kick-off so smoothly, with melodic and melancholic guitars, followed by some piano notes, just to find an immense wall of distortion, feedback and noise ahead of them.
What amazes me about TAP is their ability to create electrifying guitar driven tracks, mix them with unforgettable melodies that dig deep inside our souls and find a little cozy place in there. If not, take a look at the unique Frienemies. It starts with the fingering sound of an acoustic guitar, just to be joined by a Portuguese guitar seconds after. The latter gives this track the soul it had lost ages ago! Together, the two guitars move forth on this quest with Velasquez on the drums, sounding so melancholic and melodic… Then...the acoustic and melancholic sounds just disappear; Now we’re among a tremendous sound orgy.
Great, aesthetic and atmospheric textures, sometimes more cinematic but always in crescendo until it reaches climax; energetic and explosive swirling guitar riffs, aggressive sometimes; beautiful and catchy arrangements; battling and throttling drums, leaving you with no time left to take a breath; softly played piano notes merged with electronic scents, sampled dialogues!!!
If instruments could make love, I’d say it sounded like Your Reward…A Bullet!!!
On his third release, the singer-songwritter Francisco Silva takes us to The Temple Bell, an album released on the Portuguese independent label Bor Land.
As previously on Twice The Humbling Sun and April, Francisco Silva and his project Old Jerusalem keep sailing in a sea of melancholy, spreading the spectrum of folk music, with mellow and beautiful acoustic songs, intimate and emotive lyrics and stories on love and little insignificant things. This might have to do with the fact that some of these songs were supposed to be released on his second album, Twice The Humbling Sun, and that others came to life during on 2005 and 2006 when Francisco was promoting that very same album.
On this third chapter, Francisco's lo-paced vocals, the acoustic tunes that drop slowly out of the guitar and the introduction of such instruments as cello and vibraphone, among others, take us from reality, carrying us to a very special place where there's no disturbance but those fine and intimate tunes coming out of your stereo.....
The album, with its 11 songs, starts wonderfully with Her Scarf, the first single out of this The Temple Bell, with Francisco on vocals and Ana Figueiras supporting him with her delicate and sweet vocal contribution. This song somehow gives us a taste of what Old Jerusalem is up to now. Next we head to Dayspring (go to Sleep, Now), definitely a close encounter with Kurt Wagner's music. The song evolves slowly with the percussion and the guitar setting up the pace to Francisco's whispered lyrics.
Ruler Of My Heart is one of the most beautiful songs out of Old Jerusalem's third album. A step ahead of the material Francisco recorded before, this little song becomes a giant close to all the other ten tracks.
Throughout these 39 minutes there is still time for Grasshoppers, Boxes, Lunar Calendar and Time Time Time, another three pearls on an album that, unfortunately, does keep up with what we are shown on the very beginning. After Lunar Calendar, and with the exception of Time Time Time, the songs start sounding more to each other, loosing that feeling of novelty we could find on the first five tracks.
JP Simoes has been around for quite a while. Pop dell'Arte, Belle Chase Hotel, Azembla's Quartet and Quinteto Tati all saw his musical contribution. Now, this charismatic artist has moved forth, on a solo career.
2007 saw the birth of 1970, Joao Paulo Simoes' debut solo album. An album where his words play a major role (".... A minha geracao ja se calou, ja se perdeu,...." on 1970 (Retrato); ".... disfarca, finge nao me ver. Diz que nao pode ser, diz que eu morri num acidente qualquer...." on Se por acaso me vires por ai); where the music drinks inspiration from artists such Chico Buarte, Tom Jobim or Sergio Godinho, from bossa nova, samba and the Portuguese popular music.
The delicate and paced songs and their background vocals, instruments, beats and JP's cool voice all add up to deliver a record we listen sitting on a sofa, with a gin and tonic on our hands.
They're five. They play rock music: melodic, catchy and for sure, the one that will put you jumping up and down moving your heads to the guitar riffs and the drums beats!!!
Pedro Laginha, all-time actor, debuts with Mundo Cao his latest role, being a lead singer. Regardless if he sings or just talks throughout part of the songs, needless to say, he does it quite well, transforming some of these tracks in instant hits. Miguel Pedro, on drums, might be a name that sounds familiar to some of you. More than 20 years ago, together with the carismatic Adolfo Luxuria Canibal, they started the band Mao Morta, one of Portugal's finest alternative bands to date. Vasco Vaz, on the guitar, is another member of the cult band Mao Morta. Previous adventure include the heavy metal band Braindead. Goncalo "Budda" takes care of the other guitar. Previously, he was one of the Big Fat Mamma. The quintet would not be complete without Duarte Nuno on bass guitar.
With Adolfo Luxuria Canibal in charge of all the lyrics, the band has dedicated themselves to the other activities. The result is in front of us, with the self-titled debut album, Mundo Cao. An album that sweats rock from all its pores, not disregarding a more "poppy" approach to some of these 11 tracks. Just imagine Mao Morta's songs covered by Pluto but with Zen's, or most recent Hiena's, kickin' arse attitude. Got it? Apart from that, the impression I get is that these songs not only work great on the record, but in case these lads deliver the same energy on stage, they should sound pretty damn good played live.
An album to keep close to your stereo and listen at maximum volume. You'll love it and your neighbours will be thrilled to bits!!!
Claudia Efe, C.Morg and Flak are Micro Audio Waves (MAN). Together, they decided to greet us with their latest album, Odd Size Baggage, a monument to electronic music made in Portugal.
Gathering the likes of Francisco Rebelo (from Cool Hipnoise and Spaceboys) and Samuel Palitos, these five adventured themselves on this 12 track journey. A journey that took them across the green fields of pop music, wondering through the mysteries of minimal electro and diving into a whole new world of refined and experimental electronic tunes.
Still looking back at their past and not fearing to change, this last chapter is their most ambitious and promising album. Odd Size Baggage not only presents beautiful electro pop moments (Shadow of Things, Down by Flow or the highly recommendable aesthetical ambient Long Tongue), but as well some other incursions to other electronic lands (the “trip-hopster”, groovy Curl Like a Cannon Ball, the 120 mph rockin’ beats of 2 Night (U & I), the loopy spoken word fat beats of That’s Me Man, Half a Man,…..).
This is Odd Size Baggage, a trunk carrying a total of 12 fine tracks.
Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Tim and Jeff Buckley, Neil Young, Howe Gelb, Devendra Banhart and the Doors. Anything in common? Yes, Farewell, the debut album by the Coimbra-based trio Sean Riley & The Slowriders.
Farewell, produced by the Dutch Wout Straatman, is one of the biggest surprises to come out of Portugal this year. It is not that common that a band on their debut album comes up with a bunch of songs - 11 in total - that sound as if they've been around for ages. Afonso Rodrigues (or shall I say Sean Riley) on vocals and guitar; Bruno Simoes, on bass, guitar, percussion, melodica, synths and xylophone; and the ex-Bunnyranch Filipe Costa, on drums, keyboards and harmonica show a maturity several projects haven't achieved after years and years of hard work.
Their music is of beautiful acoustic melodies, sorrow and feelings. Surrounded by silky textures, notes dripping out of the melodica, xylophone and harmonica; dragged, paced and soul warming vocals. It breathes the warm winds of Southern America and drinks inspiration from all the artists mentioned previously.
After the release of the first single, Moving On, I was sure that something special was on its way, I just didn't know that it would be this special!!! The vocals by Sean Riley and the melodies created by Afonso Rodrigues and Bruno Simoes give space to this shiny and special aura, resting above our head, embracing and caressing us. We are taken through some of the memories Mazzy Star left behind; through the sounds Dylan and Tim Buckley taught us to love; through the dry and lonely fields of Bruce "Nebraska" Springsteen. Stories on thousands of nights, departures on the middle of night and difficult decisions. Stories..... 11 of them on this Farewell. Songs as Harry Rivers, Let The Good Times Roll, Lights Out, City Of A Million Thrills and Spider's Blues will be difficult to forget!!!!
After introducing himself and Mazgani to the world a couple of years ago, when this Setubal-based quintet was featured on the Les Inrockuptibles as one of the 20 best new European bands of 2005, Mazgani released one of 2007's finest records, and definitively one of the most interest debuts, together with Sean Riley & The Slowriders. Song Of The New Heart, released on Naked Records, gathers 13 tracks that drink inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker or Nick Drake, among others. These songs, produced by Shahryar Mazgani and Rui David, are the perfect marriage between acoustic and melancholic tunes with those electric guitar driven (Let Your Lips Blossom In A Kiss and Crazy Wind).
Listening to Song Of The New Heart is like being on an emotional turmoil: Shahryar's voice is both calm and warm, capable of comforting us on those cold and lonely Winter days, but sometimes, is strong and quite alive, as a storm ready to burst, keeping us with our eyes wide-open. Sergio Mendes, on electric guitar, loading these melodies with a rockin' attitude and Hugo Novo, on the keyboards, digging into more intimate backgrounds. This would not be complete without Rui David on drums and Reinaldo Paixao on bass guitar.
Acoustic mellow folk music, broken-hearted stories, sorrow-drunken vocals, whipping guitar chords and dreamy melodies.... Altogether they define the 13 songs out of Song Of The New Heart.
After the release of 2003's Sing Me Something New and 2005's Our Hearts Will Beat As One, the expectation was quite big towards David Fonseca's latest release, Dreams In Colour. After listening to the latter, I must say that it is much better than what I expected.
With three albums up to today, we are constantly surprised by his new songs and the way each record evolves compared to its predecessors. Dreams In Colour is only his most accomplished release so far, the perfect follow-up to his previous two albums. With an handful of tracks, (11 in total), we are taken into a swirl of indie pop, 80's electro, catchy, melodic and heavily contagious dancing tunes, where constant changes in mood take place; songs run in epic crescendos. It's a sea of emotions and amazing pop pearls!!!
Songs like the poppyKiss me, Oh Kiss me, the mind-blowing dance melodies of Silent Void, the crescendo on This Wind, Temptation and the superb cover to Elton John's Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be a Long, Long Time) are more than the perfect welcome card to one of my favourites this 2007.
This is Dreams In Colour, a hymn to pop music, one of the best pop albums Portugal has seen on recent years. An album suiting those that, like me, love pop music, or those that prefer more alternative/indie music.
Ever felt the need for something extra? Ever felt the need for something that could lift you off the ground, and take you away from the day to day boredom? Yes? So you've come to the right place!!!
Welcome to Shangri-la, the amazing follow-up to Wraygunn's highly acclaimed second release Esclesiastes 1.11.
If on their previous release, Paulo Furtado and his fellow companions were more into the world of gospel, this time, they've put it behind their backs and went more rock, more blues, more soul, and guess what, there's even a taste of funk, pop, punk and electronic music.
Blues going punk (with the explosive and highly addictive Love Letters from a Muthafucka); pop kissing electronic music; devilish gospel embracing soul (with the divine gospel-like choirs of two amazing ladies, Selma Uamusse and Raquel Ralha). On this third release, we see mainly Raquel Ralha enchanting us with her powerful and seductive vocals. Together with Selma Uamusse they are the voice whispering behind your hear, taking you deeper into the world of Shangri-La.
The album kicks off with Ain't it Nice, the perfect introduction to the 12 chapters to come next. By the second track, and while singing Love Is My New Drug, we come together with Raquel and Selma and their powerful, soulful and melodic vocal contribution, while Mr. Paulo Furtado is left to his guitar. Ain't it Nice reveals as well Raquel's writting skills.
Going forth, we encounter Hoop Hoola Woman, the first track sailing on the seas of calmness; seductive pop, dreamy and catchy..... How beautiful music can be!!!
Until the end, there's still time to discover Work Me Out, a dirty rock'n'roll guitar soul anthem, with Raquel and Selma sounding amazing once again. These two ladies do it again on the closing track, No More, My Lord. This gospel spiced soul version starts smoothly. Then, the chorus sounds louder and louder. The guitar gets noisier, trapped in addictive loops. Altogether, this whirlwind of sounds finished Shagri-La at its best.
And this way we close our best of, with Portugal's number one, Wraygunn and their Shangri-la.
This year, just like for the 2006 countdown, our "Best of" came a bit late. Slightly different than last year's, this counting kicks off with the Top 20 Polish albums, with the first 10 albums having a small review.
These choices reflect some of the records I've listened over the past 12 months. Pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, experimental and electronic music, among others. This year there was room for all genres. Hope you enjoy my choices and let me know what you think about them.
Dressed in improvisation, groove and genius, innovation and ordered chaos, this year Wojtek Mazolewski, on bass, loop and sampler, Kuba Staruszkiewicz, on drums, Tomek Zietek, on trumpet, and Tomek Duda, on sax, delivered us Punk Freud, an album told in 10 chapters where Pink Freud explore their sound further, combining it with new elements, handing us such a fresh sound, so live and so damn appealing. It looks as if these instruments have a life of their own.
Among the wealthy disorder reigning on this record, there is also time for smooth and delicate soundscapes as on Wszystko Plynie, for beautifully driven sax moments as on Sex Przemoc Lek i Niemoc, for trumpet and sax dialogues as shown on Piasek Piasek Kupa Piasku and for chill-out breezes as on Porno Pogoda.
With two albums out on the streets, the 2002 Makowiecki Band and 2005’s Piosenki Na Nie, Tomek Makowiecki decided to drop by this year with Ostatnie Wspolne Zdjecie.
Within its 11 tracks, we are taken into a world lying under pop sunlight, where streets are painted with delicate melodic colours and bathed with melancholic breezes, whispering tiny little stories as well walk through this album.
Ostatnie Wspolne Zdjecie is pop; a rich, varied and cinematic pop album that blinks an eye, here and there, to other trends. Within it, rich arrangements, catchy chorus, nicely played guitar chords, deep heart warming vocals, full-bodied textures and melodies…. melodies that flow smoothly, embracing us and making us dream of those beautiful and colourful autumn evenings…
A 10 track album by a 10-piece electronic orchestra.
This Wroclaw-based collective has just released DigitAllLove, their self-titled debut album. A collection of songs that breathe sensibility, intimacy, warmth and relaxing tempos; majestic arrangements, fat downtempo beats, subtle and inspired electronic backgrounds; all served together with live instruments and the sensual and delicate vocals of Natalia Grosiak.
Once we step into DigitAllLove, we get face to face with the likes of Bjork, Massive Attack, Portishead or Goldfrapp. The inspirations are obvious and the album does not intend to hide it as well. Putting aside this detail, DAB deliver an album that is close to being perfect. I say close, for they lack something new here that could take them to another league.
Led by the voice of Natalia Grosiak, the superbly arranged tracks, filled with passionate string melodies, darkened moods and energy, create a very special aura around this release. Listening to DigitAllLove will take you on a journey of discoveries, many emotions and colours. As you go by the aesthetic atmospheres of Run Away, passing through the more jazzy and soul ambients of Candy Castle, the loops of Skinflower, the many contrasts and flavours of Matulu, the saturated beats of Don't Expect Too Much, I U Could and I Learn 2 Be into the angelic, Icelandic cold Navel, you find yourself looking away, widely, into the vast!!! You grab the remote and hit play!!! It is time for the second journey!!!
Kasia Nosowska, Marcin Zabielowicz, Pawel Krawczyk, Jacek Chrzanowski and Robert Ligiewicz got together on the past 10th of September, at the Warsaw’s Teatr Roma, to perform their repertoire, now totally disconnected from the power. After Kayah’s performance on the MTV Unplugged series, Hey are the second Polish band invited to record an unplugged session with this network tv. With only previously released tracks and two versions (P.J. Harvey’s Angelene and Iggy Pop’s Candy), Hey Unplugged makes it to the top 20 with its songs, completely reviewed and shown here dressed with brand new clothes and incredible arrangements, sounding as fresh as they did the first time I heard them. String and blow instruments section, percussion, accordion, keyboards and lira, among other instruments, together with Kasia singular voice, the artists’ enthusiasm, the guests’ contribution (Agnieszka Chylinska and Jacek "Budyn" Szymkiewicz (Pogodno) on Angelene and Candy, respectively) and the audience create during these 17 tracks an unique atmosphere and several moments where you love these tracks so much you forget about all the rest; if not, listen to Dreams, Missy Seepy or Mimo Wszystko.
“…The one and only polish post - beat - power - puff - dance - punk - youthloud - romantic - garage - pop extravaganza…”
Michal Wiraszko, on vocals and guitar; Tomasz Skorka, on bass; Piotr Maciejewski, on keyboards and vocals; and Szymon Waliszewski on percussion have been around since 2004 “giving” music to the city of Poznan and not only!!! This group of friends released this 2007 their long-expected debut album, Terroromans, after presenting us, back in 2005, with the demo Galanteria. Last year The Car Is On Fire, with their Lake & Flames, created some buzz over a sound, somehow forgotten by several bands around here. This year, this role was given to Muchy and it seems they are taking good care of it, taking this opportunity to spread their sound all around Poland.
Considered by many as one of the most promising new Polish bands, Muchy managed, with their debut, to come up with 12 tracks that constantly blink an eye to indie rock, where catchy pop-rock tunes and good mood rules, not getting you tired after the second or third time you listen to it.
With the guitar playing a major role on this album, together with keyboard painted backgrounds and fancy melodies, this quartet either takes you back in time, to the 80’s indie-pop, or puts you on your feet, dancing non-stop to songs like Fototapeta or just moving your head to the sound of Piec po Wpol or 21 Dni.
After releasing, early last year, So Quiet's self-titled album, late 2007 saw this artist hit the stores with a magnificent album, Summer and Winter.
With this release, Warsaw-based Tomasz Bien and his project So Quiet continue playing lo-fi and acoustic ambient music kissed by minimal electronic and melancholic melodies.
The piano is still here, so is the melodica and other acoustic instruments; delicately played acoustic breezes, blowing softly over these thirty eight minutes; little toys dancing and playing together with silence. This time, Tomasz makes more use of his own vocals; intense and sorrow, dragging itself as these eleven tracks evolve.
With Summer and Winter released on Gusstaff records and So Quiet's live performances, let's hope more and more can close their eyes and fly away, on blue fluffy clouds.
This album was originally released last year, but 2007 saw it being re-released. Given this and the fact that last year, Gabriela Kulka was completely out of my radar, we've included Out on this year "Best Of", on a nice 4th place.
Owner of a fantastic voice - cool and galloping, festive and yet so strong and powerful, emotional and theatrical; piano notes that come dropping smoothly and elegantly, dressed in black and surrounded in smoke as if they'd been all night long playing on the bar right next door.
Her music takes us to the world of Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Ute Lemper or Kurt Weill. We see ourselves surrounded by jazzy, cinematic, classical and pop tunes. The arrangements give this Out another soul, making it reach other skies, making it too small for Poland alone!
Track after track, we discover more of Gabriela and her fantastic music. Diving deeper and wandering through her past releases we notice how amazing has her evolution been, release after release, constantly surprising us with her ironic lyrics and a handful of brand new flavoured sounds.
It took this lady 7 years to release her next solo album. After the release of Sushi back in 2000, Hey's lead singer, Kasia Nosowska, is back with a pack full of surprises!! To be precise, 14!!!
Unlike her previous records, UniSexBlues does not include Smolik on the production credits but indeed Marcin Macuk, producer and musician (Pogodno).
The difference is felt the minute the record starts playing. Era Retuszera, the first single out of UniSexBlues, has nothing to do with her previous electronic pop adventures. Catchy, filled with punk drunk pop tunes. A track that won't leave many indifferent, as the beats quickly will put anyone's lazy butt on the move!!
With guests Stanislaw Soyka, Jaroslaw Trelinski (Raz Dwa Trzy), Tomasz Duda and Yumiko Ishijima (from the Japanese group Papaya Paranoia), Kasia Nosowska does not limit herself to one kind of music. Rather, she uses all the help available and goes for a walk on the avenues of pop music, hand in hand with electronic beats, delicate spacey melodies and r'n'b. On the way, she has the time to greet some fast arse kicking rock tracks, to visit Goldfrapp (Metempsyho and My Faith Is Stronger Than The Hills), The Cardigans (Kasitet Romans) or a revitalized Patti Smith (UniSexBlues).
Even though the record does not follow a straight line, all the constant "mood" changes do not jeopardize it; on the contrary, it shows us how far this lady can go, how creative she is and gives us nothing but our number three record for this year.
This 2007, Mr. S presented us with Extracerebral, his debut album.
On this 13 track album, released on the British label Artificial Bliss Recordings, this Bydgoszcz-based young artist cruises the vast seas of electronic music, inspired and spiced with jazz performances, downtempo textures, incredibly addictive break beats, electro pop tales and fluffy ambient magical tunes.
This amazing musical pot, together with the warm and delicate vocal contribution of Natalia Braciszewska and the collection of live instruments make this Extracerebral a superb release, moreover being Mr. S's debut, and an album to stick by within the next few months.
Apart from gathering the singles RooM23 and the great Les Enfants Mortes, there is still time for the downtempo pop Hemisphere Left, the ambient and break beat flavoured Super)(nova, Hemisphere Right and the title-track Extracerebral, the sci-fi soundtrack inspired Second Thought, the eclectic beats, rhythm and textures of SuAve, Chernobyl Karma (live) and Coda: Sunscale. The only disappointment comes with HPS, a pop and slightly boring track that distances itself from what we've listened so far, closer to Ania Dabrowska's 2006 release. Still, not enough to take Mr. S his second place.
Szymon 'Stealpot' Folwarczny released his debut album back in 2005. By that time, Mass Mess.Age caught everyone by surprise. An unknown young artist, hailing from Katowice, had just released one of the freshest albums of the year. By then the album gathered several good reviews and made it to countries such as Germany, England or Japan.
This year young Szymon is back with the always difficult second album. After the debut Mass Mess.Age, expectations were high for his next chapter. Indian Salon has just arrived and not only it stands up to our expectations, it is a big step forth towards its predecessor.
For this release Szymon brought together, again, Kasandra Adebowale, on vocals, and Gosia Warszawska, on flute, two artists that collaborated with him on his debut album. Anna Ruttar, on vocals, Junko Nashimura, from the French/Japanese band Mondialito, Damir Radic, Piotr Czyja, Jaszczur and many others joined this second adventure. All together, they brought a brand new sound to Stealpot.
The music now is full of life, rhythm and energy. There's space for electronic pop, nu-jazz and downtempo. The instruments sound so real. Well, they're real now. Percussion, bass, double-bass, hammond organ, rhodes, piano, guitar, a string quartet with two violins, a viola and a cello, and trumpet. Low-fi and calm jazzy textures; vocals running smoothly under trumpet radars; seductive, spacey and delicate oriental pearls. All this takes place on Indian Salon.
After the release of 2006's album I Think We’ve Lost and Home on the Wall, the track for Home.Pop.Records' compilation, one of our favourite Polish bands, Zerova, are back with We All Hum Sometimes / Acoustic Apples, a 5 track acoustic EP.
As the tittle says it, Zerova went acoustic this time. Letting aside all the bits and bytes they got us used to, Adrian, Pawel, Maja and Przemek created a beautiful lo-fi record, where smooth ambient textures marry with pop and dreamy backgrounds.
During these almost twenty minutes, Zerova reveal us their other side, their other personality. One that is capable of creating beautiful songs, sweating melancholy out of each and every pore, accompanied with delicate guitar chords, accordeon magic breezes, catchy rhodes flavoured tunes and perfumed melodica scents. All this, served together with Maja's and Pawel's beautiful and melodic vocals, sounding better than ever before, more confident and sure of themselves.
Listen to these five songs and discover how these Bialystok lads managed to overcome this challenge, showing us all how capable they are of delivering amazing music, dressed in acoustic sounds only! What can I say? The closer we get to Christmas, the better it sounds. Zerova's EP just got itself into my top 5 Polish releases this 2007.
No one ever said it should run smoothly!!! No one ever said you'd show it to your mum!!! No one ever said it'd be playing Sunday morning on church!!! No one???? Fuck no one!!!! Welcome Lobster!!!
Sexually Transmitted Electricity is Guilherme Canhao and Ricardo Martins' Xmas gift for all of us. Under the mask of Lobster these two Lisbon-based lads terrorise those who dare to press the button play and step into this noise-rock crusade.
Guilherme on the guitar and Ricardo on drums are the two men behind this unique and terrorising sound machine. Guitars screaming wildly, contorting in pain. Streams of pure and raw sound waves. Volcanic drum eruptions, enraged and furious. A tremendous sound orgy.
The sound explodes in front of you, violently, yet sometimes smoother, but you keep smilling, happily. You know what has to be done. Volume on maximum and hit the road. Fast like never before, never looking back.
This is not an easy record. No one said it would be.
Welcome these 13 tracks with your arms open wide. Take this beating.... and enjoy it
Sexually Transmitted Electricity can be found here.
With two albums out on the streets, the 2002 Makowiecki Band and 2005’s Piosenki Na Nie, Tomek Makowiecki decided to drop by this year with Ostatnie Wspolne Zdjecie, his best album up to today, and Poland’s pop pearl this 2007 alongside with Kasia Nosowska’s Unisexblues.
As we start working on this year’s Best, we’ve noticed that Poland was lacking some good pop releases. Luckily, Tomek might have heard us and Ostatnie Wspolne Zdjecie arrived to our desk. Within 11 tracks, we are taken into a world lying under pop sunlight, where streets are painted with delicate melodic colours and bathed with melancholic breezes, whispering tiny little stories as well walk through this album.
Ostatnie Wspolne Zdjecie is pop; a rich, varied and cinematic pop album that blinks an eye, here and there, to other trends. Within it, rich arrangements, catchy chorus, nicely played guitar chords, deep heart warming vocals, full-bodied textures and melodies…. melodies that flow smoothly, embracing us and making us dream of those beautiful and colourful autumn evenings…...
Among these 11 tracks, our choice goes to the Air flavoured Glosy Przyjaciol, the catchy pop Nie Jestes Sam, the cinematic Na Moich Oczach … and Z Toba Bylbym...
The version for Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot’s Bonnie & Clyde, sung together with Ania Dabrowska, came as a disappointment, as it does not bring anything special. Still, the other 10 tracks make it quite worth discovering this Ostatnie Wspolne Zdjecie.
Discover the music of Tomek on his webpage or at his MySpace. The album can be found here.
“…Maximilian Carl Emil Weber was a German political economist and sociologist who is considered one of the founders of the modern study of sociology and public administration…. He was influential in contemporary German politics, being an advisor to Germany's negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles and to the commission charged with drafting the Weimar Constitution….”
This was the German Max Weber; now, it's time for the Polish Max Weber.
Artur Chmarzynski on drums, Kamil Strzyzewski on guitar, bass and vocal and Tomasz Jacak on guitar, bass and vocal are three friends that decided to have a band of their own, after years of playing together sporadically.
Hailing from Mazowsze, Sobienie, this trio is responsible for a sound situated mainly within the alternative rock spectrum. This year these three lads decided to release their debut 4 track demo. Recorded in one evening in a studio over in Warsaw, this reflects their work for the past few months, since they got together back in 2005.
With characteristic, melodic and, yet sometimes, raw vocals, Max Weber sound to dirty guitar riffs mating with melodic, loose guitars, in a room packed with saturated bass lines. There is, as well, space for some shoegazin' attitude as it can be heard on their track Crack of Dawn.
Even though Kings of Convenience, Coldplay or even Madlib are among some of the band members' favourite artists, as you go through their demo and live recordings, you'll unveil other bands that inspired these guys. We're talking mainly of Sonic Youth, Placebo and Smashing Pumpkins.
Do not forget to visit their MySpace where you can find some tracks not available on their demo. The latter can be found here, as free download.