Robotobibok was created in July 1998 in Wrocław. The band was formed by Kuba Suchar, a talented drummer who also plays the Minimoog. For the whole time he was accompanied by Artur Majewski, a trumpeter who also plays the synthesiser. Later on, Suchar and Majewski established the duo Mikrokolektyw.
The instruments used by the musicians created its untypical, distinct sound. Robotobibok wanted to play modern music, blend different genres (trip-hop, drum 'n' bass, jungle, funk, electronic, jazz and rock) and styles of playing. The outcome was a result of the members’ enthusiasm for jazz improvisations, but also of their interest in electronic and avant-garde music – from both the epoch of Webern and the time of Stockhausen. The essence of Robotobibok's improvisation was team play; few traditional instrumental solos appeared in their music.
The rhythm section was made up of Kuba Suchar, at first together with the double bass player Marcin Ożóg, later with Jakub Cywiński, and finally with the electric bass player Michał Karbowski. In the first years of activity, the band was co-formed by Maciej Bączyk, a guitarist who also plays the ARP Odyssey synthesiser, constructed in the early 1970s. Bączyk later joined Małe Instrumenty, and most recently the group Kristen, as the fourth member of the band. The last member of the original line-up of Robotobibok was the saxophonist and keyboardist Adam Pindur, the co-creator of the band Flying Vehicles.
This group created all of Robotobibok’s records: Jogging (2000), full of wild energy, Instytut las (2003), a record marked by its experimentalism and electronic sound, and, last but not least, Nawyki przyrody (2004) – a meticulously arranged record influenced by the sound of 70s electronic jazz. After the last record was released, some critics complained about the premature termination of songs that gradually unfolded in interesting ways.
In 2004, Pindur and Bączyk left the group, and the vibraphonist Marcin Ciupidro joined (he would later play in Moon Hoax, Metamuzyka, and Neurasia, and record a great solo album). Filip Itoito (that is Filip Zawada, a musician who played in AGD, Pustki, and Indigo Tree, as well as a poet and photographer) helped the band create the album covers. Those records were released by their own label – Vytvornia OM.
It was also in 2004 that Majewski and Suchar started to play as a duet, Mikrokolektyw. At the same time, they were pursuing their music careers in other projects, too: Majewski co-created Foton Quarter together with Gerard Lebik, Wojtek Romanowski, and Kuba Cywiński; together with Suchar he collaborated with Exploding Star Orchestra and Alzheimer Trio. Both of them have also played with masters of improvised music from all around the world. Suchar co-created Slug Duo and Forest Underground, and played with Chicago Underground.
Robotobibok, apart from their regular albums, may be heard on the compilation Czas yassu, attached to Czas Kultury magazine (1/2001). Yass was a music style associated mostly with musicians from Bydgoszcz and Trójmiasto. Tomasz Gwiciński, one of the leaders of this artistic movement, was also the producer of Robotobibok’s records and it was most likely him that decided Robotobibok’s pieces should be included on the compilation. Their records may also be found on You are Hear – Sessions 2002-6 (2007, compilation from the Resonance FM session) or MusicXPort Shortcut To Polish Music (2008, compilation of Polish music, released together with… a board game).
In the early 2000s, Robotobibok performed in the United States, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria, Germany, and other countries. They gave a concert at Warsaw Summer Jazz Days Festival, Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival in Berlin, Eurosonic in Groningen, Dour Festival, and the International Saalfelden Jazz Festival. The band also participated in silent film festivals, improvising soundtracks to particular films.
Robotobibok ended their career in 2008, after ten years of playing. Just before the dissolution, the band performed intensively and announced the release of their fourth album. Unfortunately, the plan was not accomplished. The album Nawyki przyrody, recorded in the famous studio Rogalów Analogowy and later released on vinyl, is something to remember Robotobibok by.
- 2000 – Jogging
- 2003 – Instytut las
- 2004 – Nawyki przyrody
Author: Jacek Świąder, November 2016, translated by AW, November 2016