This is not a one-off gesture or mere provocation. That might be the case for some visual artists entering into music, but Konrad Smolenski, the initiator and leader of the duo BNNT, has been a musician for many years.
Songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Tobiasz Biliński calls his sound "rather melancholy, chaotic, intimate, full of contrasts and often unpredictable, with a dash of improvisation". Born in 1990 in the north of Poland, the young musician's accomplishments have already earned him two nominations for music awards in his native Poland. Today he is based in Warsaw, yet he travels the world with his two projects, performing at some of the world's biggest music festivals.
Igor Boxx (Igor Pudło)
Igor Boxx, photo: www.domicil-dortmund.de
Alternative musician and composer working in dub and electronic music. Founder of the solo project Breslau and former member of Skalpel. Born 1966 in Wrocław
Monika Brodka, 2012, photo: Wojciech Barczyński / Forum
Known for her unique brand of "folk power with punk energy", Monika Brodka is one of the most acclaimed young Polish recording artists, brandishing success on all fronts - gold records, critical praise and industry awards. The key to her success is her fresh, experimental approach that pushes the envelope on commercial pop without alienating the masses.
Daniel Drumz, photo: Dominik Tarabański
A remix by Daniel Drumz is an honour for the original artist. Whatever he does, gains a lot of interest
Photo: press materis from Hokei
This group, made up of prominent independent rock musicians, is guaranteed to surprise. Even though a CD is still a ways off – the band’s page only features a one song demo – it is clear their tracks will be interesting.
Photo: band's press material
Young and still raw, this group is developing their sound. How How’s music is created to connect with an image – to illustrate a movie or a play. The artists define themselves as electroacoustic free pop. This term must be understood, however, by reading the list of components, not the end result.
Enchanted Hunters, photo: press materials
Enchanted Hunters, a trio from the Tri-City area on the Baltic coast, reminds us how little is needed to write expressive songs. Theirs are simple melodies and a couple of ordinary instruments – a guitar, flutes, cymbals and a violin. Add catchy harmonies in the backing vocals for a rocking recipe.
Fuka Lata, Photo: Monika Landwójtowicz
This duo offers a lot to listeners. The band consists of vocalist and producer LeeDVD and guitarist Mito Day. On this year’s album Saturn Melancholy they are joined by outstanding British saxophonist Ray Dickaty (he played in Spiritualized) and jazz trumpeter Kamil Shoushkevich.
Iza Lach, Photo: Tomasz Stańczak / AGENCJA GAZETA
One day, Snoop Dogg dropped a track on the internet and Iza Lach added her own vocals. This remix from Łódź appealed to the rapper from Long Beach – so much so that they have since collaborated in the recording studio.
Kamp, photo: promotional materials
They do everything with precision and dedication. Kamp! worked on their self-titled debut album for a year and a half. It came out in the autumn of 2012 on their own Brennnessel Records label and lived up to all that was expected of it – the critics liked it and it sold well
Kari Amirian, Photo: Martyna Galla
Amirian has brought the cool pop of Scandinavia to Poland. Signed to a major label and collaborating with renowned musicians, she continues to work to keep her sound natural and sincere.
Photo: courtesy of the band
They are the best Polish alternative band of recent years – both when it comes to live performances and the quality of their studio recordings. Kristen is a trio that even in the US or England is a rarity – they have no leader, but instead are three incredibly sensitive musicians who listen to one another. Brothers Mateusz (drums) and Lukasz (guitar) Rychiliccy and Michał Biela (vocals, guitar, bass) have played together for 15 years.
L.Stadt, Photo: Rafał Masłow
One of the most interesting representatives of the twenty-first century alternative rock scene, they also find ties to surf rock and psychedelia. The group was founded in Łódź in 2003 by Lukasz Lach (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Radek Bolewski (drums). They are joined by Adam Lewartowski (bass) and Andrzej Sieczkowski (drums).
Julia Marcell, photo Iwona Bielecka / Arts 2 Music
She chose the opposite direction from the path most Polish artists take, firmly marking her presence abroad before slowly building her position at home. Julia Marcell is more than the phenomenon who successfully transitioned from the internet to alternative music's top tier - she's building on her achievements as the most awarded young artist of 2011.
Maja Kleszcz & IncarNations
Maja Kleszcz, Photo: courtesy of the musicians
It sends shivers down your spine when Kleszcz slowly sing the thrillingly erotic “in the flames blood on a blade/I’m like the fertile soil alredy/feeding you my anger/today I am the earth under the sowed seeds” (“You’re like a forest”).
Małe Instrumenty in the studio, October 2009; Photo: www.myspace.com/maleinstrumenty
Małe Instrumenty are an artistic group that focuses on the exploration of sound, experimenting with instruments of small size, sound toys, peculiar musical inventions, and a whole range of elaborate objects that emit noise.
Mitch & Mitch
Mitch & Mitch, XXII Century Sound Pioneers, Photo: Tomasz Dubiel
Mitch & Mitch with Their Incredible Combo is one of the most mysterious bands in Poland (and one of the largest). They never give interviews. Claiming to be the U.S. ambassadors to Poland, they release songs in a style they have deemed “country & eastern.”
Photo: band's press material
Finally, it is just like in the world. Maybe Napszykłat even takes listeners to the future of the music world? They define themselves as electronic, hip-hop, and post-dubstep. But even these are awkward and incomplete labels. The group is led on stage by producer – and for lack of a better word – rapper, Robert Piernikowski.
Paristetris, promotional photo
Argentinian-born Candelaria Saenz Valiente heads up Warsaw's most intriguing avant pop-rock band, blending modern underground with guitar noise and classical music tradition, balanced with new-fangled styles of contemporary sound courtesy of indie greats Marcin Masecki and Macio Moretti.
Paula & Karol
Paula & Karol's rise to become musicians recognised by the world music press and blogs started out as a modest folk duo whose sound was swiftly recognised by Poland's iconic Lado ABC label. They made their first LP Goodnight Warsaw in early 2010 and later that year they released their first studio album Overshare with Lado ABC, which was hailed by fans and the media as a great discovery on the Polish music scene.
Pictorial Candi, photo: promotional materials
The lead vocalist of top alternative Polish band Paris Tetris, Candelaria Saenz Valiente, has embarked on a wild musical joyride with her latest solo project.
The Poise Rite
Photo: band's promotional material, www.blackfox.com.pl
They were the first Polish group to play the famous British Glastonbury festival. They have worked in England for several years and now split their time between the UK and their native Rzeszów.
Plum, photo: press release
Their noise music is delightfully melodious. The band Plum was founded by the Piekoszewski brothers – the guitarist Rafał and the vocalist Marcin, who is a former collaborator of the group Kristen and a member of the Woody Alien duo.
Robert Piernikowski, Photo: Ester Sebestova
Robert Piernikowski is a human paradox. He is a rapper loved on the punk scene, but ridiculed by hip-hop fans. He is absolutely undervalued in Poland, though he has attracted crowds at concerts in the Czech Republic and appeared at Barchelona’s Primavera and Unsoundzie in New York. Piernikowski, the vocalist from Napszyklat, has just released his solo debut.
Photo: press materials
Their hit song has entered not only the ether, but also politics. The collective, led by the founded of the Warsaw Village Band Matthias Szajkowski, has already released their first album Gore.
Semantik Punk i Ross Robinson, Photo: Piotr Dziewoński
In November 2012, news broke that American producer Ross Robinson – an absolute leader among record producers – had finished work on this Polish group’s album in Los Angeles.
Teielte, photo press materials
Teielte is a one-man musical menagerie devised by Paweł Strzekczyk, a producer from the city of Płock. With his 2010 debut, his music began to attract a varied lot of listeners - from hip-hop fans to admirers of electronica.
The KDMS, photo courtesy of the artists
UK vocalist Kathy Diamond and Polish producer Max Skiba have fused electronica, disco funk and Soul and spiked it with a hearty dose of House to create one of Europe's most invigorating neo-disco duos.
très.b, photo courtesy of the artists
The international formation features Polish singer Misia Furtak, Danish-English drummer Thomas Pettit and Dutch-American vocalist/guitarist Olivier Heim, also known for his solo-project Anthony Chorale. After forming in Denmark, the band made a name for themselves in the Netherlands, first self-releasing their EP Neon Chameleon, then two well-received full-length albums
Paweł Milewski and Rafał Bawirsz, photo: Mih Michalski
Twilite. Everything here is based on the interplay of the two guitars and on the English vocals. This band may soon be compared to the archetypal duo of Simon and Garfunkel.
UL/KR, Photo: press materials
UL/KR redraws, exaggerates and builds dark moods, emptiness, and unspecified grounds for longing. On top of it all is the singing of Król, who weds avant-garde with pop.