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Polo House / Ptaki / Transatlantyk

Ptaki, Polo House, Transatlantyk, Poland, Very Polish Cut Outs, Maciej Zambon, Phantom, Selvy, Naptha, Newborn Jr., Przelot, Jazxing, Dr Rob, Test Pressing, Review

Two long players of new music from the republic of Chopin and Penderecki.

“Polo House” serves as a sampler, a guide to the current state of the genre between the borders of the Baltic Sea, the Tatra and the Beskids. Nine tracks, from nine artists, a first or second release for some. While there`s a range of styles, to my ears (bearing in mind I pretty much stopped being a House head when the drugs wore off twenty years ago), they all draw inspiration from a fairly tight timeframe, that of 1994-1996. A period that some might call a “renaissance”, ten years after Frankie Knuckles` sets at The Warehouse gave the feeling a name. A renaissance coming from Chicago (Relief, and in particular Spencer Kincy`s Gemini), New York (DJ Duke`s Garage kick), London (Omid Nourizadeh`s progressive noodling & Jahkey B`s vibatory thing) and Nottingham via San Francisco (Charles Webster`s Hot Lizard), and updated, of course. Jazxing`s “Harlem Ballroom” could be Mark E`s Project E under contract to Cajmere. Newborn Jr.`s “Loft Version” makes like Telephones and clips everything into percussion playing in Reich-ian counterpoint.

Ptaki, Polo House, Transatlantyk, Poland, Very Polish Cut Outs, Maciej Zambon, Phantom, Selvy, Naptha, Newborn Jr., Przelot, Jazxing, Dr Rob, Test Pressing, Review

Ptaki - Przelot Cover Front copy

Ptaki`s “Przelot” leans more towards the Balearics with sourced guitars rubbing shoulders with greats like Peter Green, Michael Chapman, Phil Manzanera, Joan Bibiloni and Javier Bergia, Talcy Malcy`s operatics and a go on Holger`s shortwave dial. It also drops into Dubwise like Future Nuggets hijacking King Jammy`s “Sleng Teng” rhythm, and the big beat Blues of A.P.E. and Tricky lost on Christiansands. What`s most interesting here for me (as an ex-Wire reader) is that the methods used would have once been considered experimental. The loops and samples often aren`t hidden, in some cases hitting every second bar, like a locked groove. An exercise in trance-inducing minimalism, with its roots in classic compositions such as Steve Reich`s (again) “Come Out”, which has now become familiar, Pop even. Pop deconstructed, chopped & screwed (“Ostatni Kurs” sounds like House at the wrong speed). Music concrete, sonar blips and static. Hip Pop Pop Hop. Each piece a magpie-eyed collage rather than a re-tailored suit.

Ptaki - Przelot LABEL A copy

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