Category Archives: Polish Music

Polish Reggae, Jazz, Traditional and Classical Muzyka

Finally here’s my second post on Polish music. You can read the first part on rock and metal here.


Artist: Maleo Reggae Rockers and Goście
Album: XVI Przystanek Woodstock 2010
Maleo Reggae Rockers on Amazon
For some reason, reggae seems to be huge in Poland. Maybe it’s cuz the European Union to freely move all sorts of things, such as weed from Holland, into Poland. Is it any wonder that Holland has one of the largest populations of Poles in the EU? In any event, the Poles are a pretty relaxed bunch, and reggae would suit a lot of them. This is a solid reggae disc, recorded live at the XVI Przystanek Woodstock 2010.Although I couldn’t find the live disc online, Amazon carries a couple of their discs.
Artist: Vavamuffin
Album: Vabang!
Vavamuffin from Warsaw, PolandJah jest Prezydentem! Jah jest kierownikiem! Jah jest blah blah blah…. I can hardly speak Polish, let alone rap/reggae at their speed. Think Ukraine’s Tartak mixed with reggae and you have an interesting combination of rap vocals with dance music. Apparently this band is huge and I neglected to pick up any of their discs while I could. In any event, the music I heard had me hooked. Good party music and, I guess, great music to hear and see live. The song that got me hooked on this group was called “Jah Jest Prezydentem” from their Vabang!album. Unfortunately, couldn’t find much for them on Amazon. That be no problem, however, as they have a bunch of their music on their website.
Artist: Zakopower
Album: Na Siedem
Zakopower on AmazonI’m not sure if these guys are actually traditional since they have such a reggae/dance beat to them that marks them more as a modern band. Songs like “Tupany” have such a Middle Eastern influence that you wonder why a Polish band is playing it. In any event, the album I heard, Na Siedem, started off with the reggae-dance number “Galop” that had some catchy moments with chants of eeya-eeya-eeyeh! Available on Amazon.


Unfortunately, I didn’t find any jazz bands on disc, but I did see a few bands live. I went to Tygmont Jazz Club on a Tuesday night and was disappointed by the offering. It’s possible that the better musicians play toward the end of the week, though the bar looks as if to offer a more club-like atmosphere on the weekends. There was one day I attended a high school jazz recital. Why? You may ask. Well, I had informed the front desk of the hostel of my desire to see some live jazz and they pointed out an ad for a show on Monday night. Well, yea, it was jazz alright, but it was a high school jazz recital. I was the foreigner in more ways than one. In any event, the female lead vocalist really stood out with her powerful vocals and her classmates were equally good on their instruments but, just like at Tygmont, stage presence was lacking.


I found one disc of traditional Polish music titled Powiśle Maciejowickie, a collection of songs recorded by one group throughout one region of Poland. I’d love to tell you which region but I seemed to have lost the disc. Most of the 36 tracks are just over 2 minutes in length. I found this disc at the Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw. Neat collection. Good for those who want to hear rare music from the countryside. I couldn’t find the disc online.
Artist: Kroke
Album: Various
Kroke on AmazonAlthough I never bought one of their discs, I had heard a lot about Kroke and their klezmer music. This band, although they started as traditional, has taken steps to broaden their scope of klezmer music. I wasn’t too impressed, though maybe I just didn’t find the right disc.Available on Amazon.
Artist: Grzegorz Turnau
Album: Fabryka Klamek
Grzegorz Turnau on AmazonFolk rock? Easy listening? Jazz Not sure how to classify this guy. I’d recommend this band if you were looking for something to put on the background. Some of the tracks I was given were from the Fabryka Klamekalbum, which I couldn’t find online. Some of those songs were like circus music. The albums available online would probably fit into jazz. Overall, very good chill-out music to remind you of sunny days.Available on Amazon.


Artist: Chopin
Album: Various
Chopin on AmazonCurrently unsigned, this classical composer has great potential. Live appearances are rare. He’s a little ahead of himself by setting up an interactive museum in Warsaw but the place is pretty neat. You get a little keycard after you buy your ticket (entrance is free on Tuesdays) which is set to the language of your preference. When you wave your keycard over the sensor at each exhibit you can read or listen in your native language. They also had these cool benches which you could open a folder of his compositions and the scanner would, in theory, recognize the barcode and pull up the appropriate music. Interludes, sonatas, arias, etc. Moreover, the image displayed on the page was supposed to be touch-screen, a cool feature for sure. He needs to re-check some of the exhibits since some of them weren’t working.In any event, my favourite work by this dude is his “Funeral March.” Not the happiest tune out there but it puts you in a contemplative mood. It is also a very easy song to learn on piano, and so I hold it dear to my heart as one of the first songs I learned on piano. Other than that, I also like Opus 66, “Fantasy Impromptu,” which I remember first hearing while on a cruise ship on the Mediterranean. Some of his music can be a little hard to digest and his genre certainly isn’t for everyone. I respect his ability and see a great future for this man.Available on Amazon.

And there you have some of the muzyka that I found while travelling through Poland!

Polish Rock and Metal Muzyka

Alright boys and girls, it’s that time again. Following posts on Asian, Korean, Winnipeg, and country music, it’s time for another round of Steven’s Musical Selections. This time I’m covering the muzyka from Poland.

While in Krakow, I walked into the Empik store in Stare Miasto, Krakow and asked the info guy to guide me through Polish music: metal, electronica, reggae, rock, whatever. Give me Poland’s best, I said. He pointed out a few Cds, I ended up taking all but one. Now before you think I just splurged on a bunch of Cds without listening to them (which I am prone to do), Empik has this really cool listening station. Every CD in the store has already been digitized which means you can listen to the CD without opening the package. All you have to do is wave the barcode under the scanner and it pulls up the CD in the player. Neat.

So we go, some of the better rock and metal music I found while travelling through Poland. In the next post, I’ll cover pop/hip-hop, raggaemuffin, jazz, traditional and classical music.


Artist: Łąki Łan
Album: Łąki Łanda
Well, for us beginning Polish learners, hearing a band named Łąki Łan (pronounced Wanki Wan), you kinda wonder what you’re getting yourself into. But this is the disc the music man at Empik picked out when I asked for the craziest Polish music he could think of. Amazing disc right off the bat. Hard to classify, but this group has elements of rap, rock, funk and some elements of klezmer. Rapping vocals with groovy bass and poppin’ drum beats. It’s really hard to write very much about this band simply because you have to hear them. This CD played as a soundtrack to my Search for A Cemetery in Southeast Poland (forthcoming). My only complaint is that the first half of the CD is absolutely amazing but trails off in the last 2 or 3 songs. I hope this band continues releasing new material. Available on Amazon.


Artist: HEY!
Albums: Fire and Re-Murphed!
Re-Murphed!This band has been around forever. Since they’re already releasing “best of” discs (are these “best of” discs authentic?), I believe they’ve had quite a career. 1990-grunge music with female vox full of attitude and for that reason they reminded me of Alice in Chains, a little bit anyway. Their remixes, however, can go way out there. I was lucky to get both discs of their remix album Re-Murphed! Disc 1 was kinda too slow for my liking, but Disc 2 rocked my world.


Zepół Intercity
Zepół Intercity from Poland.

Artist: Zespół Intercity
From Warsaw (I think). Although this band doesn’t have a CD yet, I was shown this band by one of the workers at the Oki Doki Hostel. The Sunday night performance brought out 50 or so people who appeared to thoroughly enjoy the onstage antics of the lead singer. Even though I didn’t understand what he was saying, his stage props (all carried in a briefcase) helped in interpreting what the songs were about. Don’t know how this band would fare in disc format, but live they were great. Think a mixture of Gogol Bordello and Winnipeg’s Trousermouth.


Artist: Lao Che
Album: Prąd Stały / Prąd Zmienny
Lao CheProbably one of the more bizarre discs I picked up. Elements of jazz, electornica, spoken word and rock, I’m not sure how to classify this disc. For those in the West, think elements of John Zorn with some of Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals and rock music. The whole disc is a mixture of good elements with some questionable choices. The chants in the song “Krzywousty” were pretty catchy while tracks like “Czas” had a weird 1980’s feel that didn’t work. Each track would stand on its own in a “shuffle”, but together on one disc doesn’t work. the disc available in Poland from Empik, but I could only find one track on Amazon.


Artist: Kazik Na Zywo
Album: Las Maquinas de la Muerte

KNZ Poland
KNZ from Poland.

Clocking in at over an hour, this disc’s great dynamics are broken up with annoying slurred and mumbled spoken word tracks. Of course, they’re in Polish so maybe they actually contribute to the overall theme of the disc. This is a funky disc, given to me by the same casting agent who brought me down to Łódż. Some of the music reminded me of GWAR, fast and heavy but not as abrasive, though the disc remained uniquely KNZ’s own style of rock. Lots of attitude in this disc, sounds like great party music. Discs are old and I couldn’t find anything online for them.


Marcinera Awaria - Rebus

Artist: Marcinera Awaria
Album: Rebus

From Łódż, Poland! Good train listening music, maybe for saying goodbye or even on those days that you feel kinda displaced as a traveller. The disc I got had a laid back singer/songwriter style to it. Not sure I’d listen to this on a regular basis but I’d let it play through in a shuffled playlist. The album ends with an upbeat feel with the dance-beat fuelled track, “Road.” Their tracks are available on MySpace, but I couldn’t find any online retailer carrying their music.


Artist: Doda
Album: Diamond Bitch
DodaBefore striking out on her own Doda was part of a group called Virgin. For whatever reason, that group disbanded. Doda is like the Bif Naked (listen to “Cma” off of her Diamond Bitch album) or the Avril Lavigne of Poland: some moderately hard-driving rock music with lyrics that might make sense. Her videos are pretty hot, kinda like soft porn. Pretty standard, feel good music with an edge. The music is aimed at the young girls but the videos are directed toward the adult male crowd. Available on Amazon.



Unfortunately, there weren’t too many recommendations for Polish metal. I asked if there were any other notable metal bands but everyone told me Behemoth and Vader are all Poland has to offer. Most of the good metal comes from Norway, Finland or the USA. The two bands I did find have toured all over the world and are pretty well known. They are Behemoth and Vader.

Artist: Behemoth
Album: the apostasy
Behemoth The ApostasyWho knew that Behemoth hailed from Poland? Apparently they’ve been banned from playing in Poland because of their Satanic image. The trio, though very scary looking, use a lot of symbols with their artwork ranging from pagan and satanic to images and references to ancient history. Musically the disc is amazing. Even with the constant battery of the double bass drum, their compositions are artfully put together while the vocals, though growly, complement the music. The only thing I hate about the disc is the fact that they put it in a cardboard outer sleeve, the CD case was right proper lodged inside. Once I got the disc out, however, I found it cool that they included a paragraph explaining the lyrics and inspiration behind each song, even if I don’t agree with much of their written content. Available on Amazon.


Artist: Vader
Album: Necropolis
Vader NecropolisMore death metal from Poland, but these guys haven’t been banned from playing. Their vocals are a little easier to understand than Behemoth’s, but the music is just as assaulting. Would love to see these guys live as they can settle into a face-paced metal groove or hash out some blast beats. The track “The Seal” was a pretty cool chant piece breaking up the thrash of the album and the track “Anger” makes it clear that they are, well… angry. Interesting to hear their version of “Fight Fire with Fire” on the Necropolis album. For those looking to get into metal, this would be your disc. Available on Amazon.


Next up, I’ll bring ya some reggaemuffin, pop, hip hop, jazz, traditional and classical muzyka from PO-Land.