Right now, the world of folk music seems a glorious place. Hardcore traditionalists might hate the idea of progress, but it's an expanding universe, and this is a prime example, taking samples of Polish village music and slotting them in with accordion, distorted electric guitar, bass, drum and programming. Some of the music's traditional, some original, and there are interludes of village sounds (like the barking of dogs,which becomes a little disconcerting). It's quite deliberately an odd hybrid (but not as strange as an old album that features Polish family singing with a reggae band--in dub. Now that one's weird but wonderful), happy to stand outside categorization. One track is reminiscent of Nirvana, another offers a hint of dance music. One'scalled "Rammstein" after the German metal band, but doesn't sound at all metal. Sometimes the samples are obvious, sometimes they're barely used, or the music stands alone. It's an exercise inloving contradictions, inspired by the Polish villages--places that are themselves in transition, pushing into the 21st Century. It doesn't all work, it can be untidy and sprawling at times, but that'spart of its point--it's avoiding any kind of perfection in favour of the homespun. And, of course, these days that includes recording technology. It's a large step away from Adamow's more traditionally-oriented last album, but it works in a strange, compelling way. It's a Poland that's both slipping into the past and also ready for the future, and yes, it's fab.
Jarek Adamów and Paweł Brzozowski "Contemporary Polish Village Music" Folken Music, 2006 Jarek Adamów & Sami Swoi "Expedition to the Lost World Part 1 - Winter" Folken Music, 2006 Two older releases by the Polish multi instrumentalist Jarek Adamów. In the last issue of FolkWorld I wrote a review of two of his more recent projects and in 2003 I put his solo album in my list of best albums of the year. These two older releases show the creativity of Adamov. With constantly the rich Polish tradition as basic element he keeps surprising me with new ideas and new sounds. On the album he recorded with Paweł Brzozowski, he brings the sounds and traditions of the country together with some modern Polish rock guitars and programming. What I like is that even in the rock parts you still find the rawness and pureness of the Polish culture. With sometimes almost industrial sounds, Adamów creates an impressive landscape and builds a bridge between the old and new Polish society. How different the other album is! Here he plays the accordion, bass drum and sings together with the traditional vocal female trio Sami Swoi. This is back to the basic elements of the Polish music, the aged voices of the three older woman, the simple rhythms and the rich sound of the accordion. Totally different than the other album, but somehow they reflect the same feeling. With adding these two older releases to my Adamów CD collection I’m getting more and more impressed by the work of this Polish musician and singer.
Polish folk music scholar and multi-instrumentalist Jarek Adamów gave traditional Polish folk a modern twist on his 2008 release Contemporary Polish Village Music.Enlisting the help of guitarist Paweł Brzozowski, Adamów’s post-rocktreatment of Polish classics could find a new home with fans of Mogwai and Pelican.