Music of sleepless nights – mechanical, yet alive. JAAA!, a band composed of three artists from three different corners of the Polish musical world, creates emotional, electronic songs. A crucial member of the group is Karolina Głusiec who is responsible for the visuals during their live shows.
They don’t have a big publisher and manager, but what they have is original music which they create using synthesizers, samplers and guitars. Trans rhythms, strong, grainy bass, delicate melodies and melancholic vocals which is often pushed into the background by the electronic music, all this often made the critics compare them to Moderat, Atoms For Peace or Sigur Ros.
It all began in 2012, with Marek Karolczyk and Kamil Patera playing together in Sadki in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship. However, later on Dąbki, a nearby village in Greater Poland, became the ‘base’ for the band. After the decision to include a vocalist in their project, they added Miron Grzegorkiewicz to their line-up. In an interview, Pater recalls:
At the very beginning, Miron travelled from Warsaw, Marek from Poznań, me – Nakło nad Notecią. Dąbki became a kind of asylum from the everyday life. A small village, few houses, lots of space, fields, forests, plains, valley of Noteć. From the window you can see a park and a huge, trimmed lawn. We could not only discover the music there, but also ourselves.
Pater, the guitarist, comes from the young jazz scene background. He played with f.e. Contemporary Noise Quartet (and Quintet, and Sextet), or Irek Wojtczak Quintet. For an album Dziki Jazz, recorded with Aleksander Kamiński, Paweł Urowski and Rafał Gorzycki he was even nominated for Fryderyki awards for Jazz Debut of the year. He also creates theatrical music.
Marek Karolczyk with Robert Piernikowski played in an excellent band Napszykłat which is a musical and performative experiment, merging hip-hop, electronic music and noise.
Miron Grzegorkiewicz was part of a jazz-song group How How, jazz quintets Daktari and PTKCSS, he also creates solo under the name M8N. He is a guitarist specialising in improve, as well as a graphic UX/UI designer. His JAAA! Bandmates quickly noticed his diverse singing style and abstract language that he uses.
The visual side of their live performances is managed by Karolina Głusiec. A graduate from Royal College of Art in London, she is responsible for, for example, a short movie Kosmos which appeared an Etamski’s album in 2013. For her earlier movie, Velocity, she was awarded Jerwood Drawing Prize, as well as an award at Film Festival in Ann Arbor.
Their debut album, Remik, appeared in October 2015. It was made in Dąbki and took 3 years to finish. In order to realistically convey the emotions, they had to get to know one another first. The album features jazz musicians from Tri-city: clarinet player Irek Wojtczak and drummer Kuba Staruszkiewicz. The CD was released independently, under the label of freshly established Sadki Rec, it was also uploaded to Youtube. They wrote about Remik:
It’s a tale of a boy running from real, dark world into his own, safer reality. In this constantly created world alienated Remik is no longer alone, he has a friend and a guardian – Bujillo. Together they are untouchable and they traverse many dimensions.
The hero is based on a real-life boy, who once took guitar lessons from Pater, but was quickly forced to give them up. Grzegorkiewicz, in an interview with Olga Wiechnik, said:
Even though I’ve never met Remik, I felt that, in a sense, I am Remik. He transcended himself and every one of us and became loneliness and alienation embodied.
So what’s the deal with the name? In an interview with Vice artists explained that it’s supposed to show a cheerful shout of joy (now they also add freedom). But not only that:
With time, when the album began to take its shape, we saw that the thrice repeated A wasn’t incidental. Now, every one of us can say that I (in Polish ‘Ja’) am JAAA. The J at the beginning is Karolina who is responsible for the visual side.
They appeared at many festivals, such as Open’er in Gdynia, Tauron Nowa Muzyka and Off in Katowice, Audioriver in Płock, or Spring Break in Poznań. They published remixes of young Polish electro artists’ (Baasch and Oxford Drama) songs. However, Miron Grzegorkiewicz points out that, even though remixing is always interesting and inspiring, for them creating their own material is a priority and leaves little time for anything else.
In the autumn of 2016, as a celebration of the first anniversary of their debut album, a single Marc was released. It shows that we can hope that band’s new album, rumoured to be titled Bujillo could be released in 2017.
Written by Jacek Świąder, March 2017. Translated by AS.
2015 – Remik