Aleksandra Grünholz, the mind behind We Will Fail, presents her rhythmic impressions of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio.
In 2018, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Ableton created a library of samples based on the archive of recordings made in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES). So far, sounds created by Elżbieta Sikora, Krzysztof Knittel and Ryszard Szeremeta have been used by over 20,000 music producers from around the globe. In May 2019, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute together with the British music magazine The Quietus even announced a competition for compositions using the PRES samples.
PRES Sampling #1 – Wojciech Kucharczyk
The creator of DESCENDING K NEW is We Will Fail, an interdisciplinary artist producing abstract techno in which we can hear echoes of ambient, industrial music and polyrhythmic searching. In 2018 she founded refined.productions with Jakub Mikołajczyk, on which she released her latest album Dancing. We Will Fail has played at various festivals including Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Unsound in Kraków and Toronto, Intonal in Malmö, CTM in Berlin, and Tauron Nowa Muzyka in Katowice.
PRES Sampling #2 – A_GIM
Filip Lech: What was your first encounter with the music of the Polish Radio Experimental Studio?
WWF: I only found out that something like that existed when I was at university.
FL: Is the ethos of experiment dear to you? How is electronic music experimental in 2019?
WWF: For me, experimenting is an attempt at going beyond what is already known. Not just attempting to rearrange blocks in a different way to go beyond the system of blocks. In 2019, on one hand you get the impression that everything has already been done, but on the other you can always hear something that surprises you.
FL: Is PRES music outdated or does it sound modern?
WWF: It's hard to say. It does sound extremely experimental, but it also sounds like the experimental music of the past.
FL: What meaning does the history and tradition of electronic music have for you? Do you refer to the past in your music?
WWF: I think you can't avoid being tied to what's already been. While listening, we assimilate how pieces were built till now, we get used to their construction and resonance. Working on a composition, it's already fully-defined in your head, what's supposed to happen with it so that the track is the track.
FL: Which PRES artist is your favourite?
WWF: I don't feel close to any of them.
FL: What is your favourite song from the Warsaw studio?
WWF: I don't pick favourites.
FL: Which sound from the PRES sample library was the most to your taste?
DESCENDING K OLD O 00 13 75-001.wav from the sample pack created from Krzysztof Knittel's works. I used it to make the melody in my piece.
Interview conducted in Polish by email, July 2019, translated by AZ, Aug 2019
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