Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Intersection: Go Go Beuys Band

The Intersection is an ongoing segment dedicated to global artists that are pushing and changing our definitions of genres.

Go Go Beuys Band
Markowi Nedzinskiemu in Memoriam
(Audio Tong; 2011)
Marek Cholniewski (electronics; guitars; vocals)
Krzysztof Knittel (electronics; guitars; vocals)
Olga Szwajgier (vocals)
Marek Nedzinski (sax)
Janusz Dziubak (vocals)

One of the greatest finds for me in 2011 was this unearthed collection of two mid-eighties sessions from the briefly assembled Go Go Beuys Band. Originally conceived by Cholniewski and Knittel as a series of electronic experiments, the Polish group while definitely influenced by many of the electronic group from Germany and England; should now be considered along side those pioneering bands like, Kraftwerk, Amon Duul, YMO, Faust, Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle as one of the important bands of then unknown Eastern Europe.

Markowi Nedzinskiemu in Memoriam opens with "Czad Z Latyny" and it hits with loud bang of percussion and Brion Gysin-esque vocal manipulation. The electronics are primitive but played so interestingly you get caught in a very trippy little loop that doesn't seem to let up. "Szkocka Wojna" deconstructs itself across the board. There seems to be a lot improvising but somehow these musicians all meet in the middle of weird hallucinogenic groove. 

"Rockroll" is the closet piece that has some hallmarks of aiming towards an experimental dance beat (similar to mid period Cabaret Voltaire). It's got some spacey rhythms and hand-claps that are all in the right place and show the group was expanding its ideas.

"Heavy Love," the longest track of the two sessions (just under 8 minutes) feels like Herbie Hancock's Headhunters meeting with Kronos Quartet. There's a funky vibe throughout but with this strange  cello cutting across the groove. Crazy but it works beautifully. "Chodzisz Po Ulicy" plays with reggae beats and distrorted vocals while "Avant Garde" is the synth-droning polar opposite with Throbbing Gristle type movements. Still experimenting with vocals, classical movements, funky sax work and electronic beats, "Heavy Baby" is more than a just a groovy song title. It's an attempt to merge a lot of the albums growing motifs into something even more cohesive. And it works well.

Markowi Nedzinskiemu in Memoriam is more than a treasure trove of lost grooves. It's a historical document into what was happening in Poland and you realize they were diggin' the same material and utilizing those ideas to craft some great and what has to be influential work. If you can find this album it is a must for fans of the aforementioned groups but also a nice beat early electronica, industrial, prog, and whatever else you would like to call it. We just consider it an Intersection. Highly Recommended.

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