Polska Rootz – S/T
Polish folk & reggae? Well, yes, believe me. And believe me, its amazing. For once I’m going to use some promo bumpf to tell you that Poland’s venerable folk-music and folk-lore culture and reggae can get on fine thank you very much. Apparently, Poland was the only country behind the Iron Curtain with an active reggae scene in the 80s; a scene that later incorporated dub & electronica. The contents of this LP is effectively an extension of both these histories, with modern Polish artists drinking deep at the well of their own folk culture and recent past, and creating the hybrids and orphans heard in the music known as Polska Rootz.
There you go then! Time for this reviewer to tell you that you won’t pick up a more surprising and enjoyable LP this year. It’s damned difficult to describe just how good and danceable something like the Warsaw Village Band’s traditional folk singing is with a stripped down 2-cylinder skank backdrop (courtesy of Horn Lane Skank). Or the magnificent opening track; a Kolomyjka Jarocinska remix of Studio AS One vs Orkiestra Swietego. God knows who did what, but the play-off between the folky flute and an uptempo dub not a million miles away from 1991-era Orb; is an absolute joy to listen to.
I could go on, and on, and on about this LP, what with Jamaicans the Twinkle Brothers remixing Tatric folk on the brilliant Don’t Betray My Love; or the brilliant drumnbass of Masala Soundsystem but I have to stop. Otherwise I’ll fill this page with names you’ll have difficulty reading interspersed with slavering prose and dodgy references. Far better, get this LP as soon as possible.