Mikrokolektyw is a duet that continues to explore the boundaries of jazz, post-jazz and free improvisation. The band composed of Artur Majewski (trumpet & electronics) and Kuba Suchar (drums & electronics) demonstrates an advanced understanding of contemporary music, blending electronics with acoustic instruments as well as elements of classical jazz with the most far-out improvisation.
Music duet exploring the boundaries of jazz, post-jazz and free improvisation.
Mikrokolektyw (which can be translated as Microcollective) originates from Robotobibok (a portmanteau of the Polish words for robot and slacker), a band which explored the crossover of rock, jazz, electronic music and drum’n'bass. It achieved considerable popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Poland, as well as in other European countries. However, after releasing three widely acclaimed albums, Robotobibok announced its disbandment in 2008.
In 2004, Artur Majewski and Kuba Suchar had started to rehearse and perform as a duet. This kind of musical set-up has two properties - it gives enormous space for free musical explorations and journeys, but at the same time it is extremely challenging. The limited number of musicians and instruments can easily make music sound hollow. This is why, from the very beginning, they aimed at achieving great musical intensity by engaging a wide spectrum of artistic means, as well as electronics and analogue synthesizers.
Debut - Revisit 2010
In early 2010, big news struck the headlines of Polish jazz-related media. Mikrokolektyw had signed a contract with Delmark Records and thus became the first European avant jazz group to be released by this renowned label in its 57-year history. The album itself is the end result of the band’s long process of exploration and their search for their own unique sound. They worked on it for a very long time, and finally produced with an outcome that is well beyond the formula of an improvising duet. Instruments are overdubbed - sometimes you can hear a few trumpets and a few drum sets or percussion instruments playing at the same time - and everything is bonded together with sophisticated electronics. Maciej Nowotny, Chief Editor for polish-jazz.blogspot.com, commented:
They both very creatively use different electronic instruments to enliven their music. In fact, they use such original instrumentation and have played together for such a long time that they both sound like some new instrument, very unique and unheard of, with the name of the group so well-matched to such perfect cooperation.
The album received huge praise from critics and audiences alike, and immediately put Mikrokolektyw at the forefront of the Polish improvised music scene. In the same year, Mikrokolektyw released a DVD of a live performance. Dew Point places the material of Revisit into a concert setting, expanding their tunes into improvised forms.
Mikrokolektyw 'Lipuko' from the album Revisit. Kuba Suchar: Drums, Electronics, Artur Majewski: Trumpet, Electronics
Absent Minded 2013
Absent Minded, released after three years of intense musical activity from both musicians (as Mikrokolektyw and in other collaborative groups), offers a largely different approach from Revisit. They glide easily from very dense movements of sharp trumpet tones, combined with the break-neck pace of Kuba Suchar’s drumming, into spacious ambiences where the contours of the sonic landscape are only slightly marked by the most subtle and carefully selected notes.
According to Mikrokolektyw’s band members, Absent Minded is heavily influenced by their live performances. Artur Majewski said in an interview with screenagers.pl:
[Absent Minded] has its specific construction. There is a lot of cooperative work between the trumpet and the drums, between the drums and the trumpet. We collaborate very tightly with the use of electronics. It is a big change in comparison to Revisit, where we mostly took some ideas and then added other sounds in subsequent overdubs.
Mikrokolektyw performance at ¿Underground/Independent? - Independent Culture Festival, Białystok 2014
- 2010 Revisit. Delmark Records.
- 2010 Dew Point (live concert DVD). Delmark Records
- 2013 Absent Minded. Delmark Records
Author: Wojciech Oleksiak, 10.06.2014.
Sources: Mikrokolektyw.com, polskieradio.pl, screenagers.pl, polish-jazz.blogspot.pl