Retrospektywny - Retrospective

Władysław Komendarek

Retrospektywny - Retrospective

Władysław Komendarek

15,90€ - Buy Vinyl 8,90€ - Buy Digital

  • First compilation of Polish electronic music godfather
  • Selected solo works recorded between 1987 and 1990
  • Complete liner notes by music specialist Łukasz Komła (en, pl)
  • Limited to 1000. Vinyl comes with download card
# Electronic, Eurodance, Ebm, Synthpop, Techno, Industrial, DIY, Poland

Akuphone presents a compilation of Władysław Komendarek, the Polish genius of synthesizers. This selection comes from tree albums released between 1987 and 1990, a very important political and social period in Poland, marked by the last convulsions of communism. Komendarek’s music offers a unique patchwork of synthesizer sounds, “art of noise” and cosmic flights far beyond the realm of conventions that dominated the Polish electronic music scene at the time. It brings a weird mixture of electronic, proto-techno, eurodance and progressive music.  

Instrumentalist and composer, Władysław Komendarek (born in 1948 in Sochaczew, Poland) was a member of the legendary group Exodus in the 1973-1983 period. But the pioneering achievements of Komendarek in the field of electronic music were revealed with glory in the 1980s with the start of his solo career. Equipped with various analogue synthesizers –even some of his own manufacture–, he began to explore the sounds of the Earth and the Cosmos. Intensely drawn to electronic instruments, he tried to use them to their maximum capacity. For over forty years now, he has been a restless and tireless seeker of beyond-the-earthly sounds hiding in synthesizers which he has tried to reveal to the world.

Thanks to their richness, the liner notes provide an immersion into the Polish electronic music scene. Written by the musical journalist Łukasz Komła, liner notes include a text on Władysław Komendarek, Pioneer and rebel by choice, a Brief history of electronic music in Poland, a short biography and a paper on the Social and political context in Poland in the 80s.

Akuphone présente une compilation de Władysław Komendarek, le génie polonais des synthétiseurs. La sélection est issue de trois albums enregistrés entre 1987 et 1990 en Pologne, période de bouleversements politiques et sociaux, marquée par les derniers soubresauts du communisme, La musique de Komendarek ressemble à un patchwork inédit d’art of noise, de sons sortis de synthétiseurs et de voyages cosmiques. Elle sonne comme un étrange mélange de musique électronique, proto-techno, eurodance et rock progressif, bien loin des conventions qui dominaient la scène de la musique électronique polonaise d’alors. 

Instrumentiste et compositeur, Władysław Komendarek (né en 1948 à Sochaszew, en Pologne) était l’un des membres du groupe culte Exodus entre 1973 et 1983. Mais c’est au tournant des années 1980, lorsqu’il débute sa carrière solo que son talent et la puissance novatrice de ses productions dans le champ de la musique électronique apparaissent au grand jour. Accompagné de différents synthétiseurs analogiques, certains même fabriqués de ses propres mains, il a exploré les sons de la Terre et du Cosmos. Depuis presque quarante ans maintenant, tel un infatigable chercheur agité, il a tenté de révéler au monde les sons extraterrestres dissimulés dans ses synthétiseurs.

Le disque est accompagné de liner notes en anglais et en polonais qui, par leur richesse, sont une porte d’entrée à la (re)découverte de la scène de la musique électronique polonaise. Ecrites par le journaliste musical Łukasz Komła, elles incluent un texte sur Władysław Komendarek, Pioneer and rebel by choice, un bref historique sur la musique électronique en Pologne, une courte biographie, et un article sur le contexte politique et social des années 1980 en Pologne.

Interview with Władysław Komendarek
 by Łukasz Komła for Akuphone 2019

=> Polish version here

1.The album "Dotyk Chmur" (A Touch of Clouds) was released in 1987 and remastered for a CD release in 2016, thanks to the Polish label GAD Records. "Dotyk Chmur“ (A Touch of Cloud) consists of eight melodic songs, full of rhythm and cascades of synthesizer sounds. The Akuphone compilation includes such recordings as "Cyklamenowe wyspy" (Cyclamen Islands), "Taniec szerszeni" (Dance of the Hornets), "Dotyk chmur" (A Touch of Clouds) and "Sen Shoguna" (Shogun's Dream). There must be a myriad of memories associated with these compositions. How was this material created and what type of stories are embedded in these works? 

"Dotyk chmur" (A Touch of Clouds) is a record in which images of nature were contemplated, and you can find such examples in "Cyklamenowe wyspy" (Cyclamen Islands), "Taniec szerszeni" (Dance of the Hornets), "Sen Shoguna" (Shogun's Dream) etc. If I were to answer with more precision, this material relates to past events. I have always been interested in what transpires above our Earth, i.e. the clouds, the movements of all types of aviation vehicles such as airplanes, parachutes, and other inventions which were created about 100 years ago. I have always wanted to and dreamed of touching the clouds, but from here, being on Earth. "Taniec szerszeni" (Dance of the Hornets) is a song dedicated to and inspired by a hornets’ nest that I found in the attic; and there was about three hundred pieces there – seven round plates that were tied together with a hornet-made foundation. It really was an architectural masterpiece and I still have it, in fragments. "Cyklamenowe wyspy" (Cyclamen Islands) is a song that was named by a friend of mine who listened to this composition at my place. The title turned out to relate also to nature, so I stuck with it. "Sen Shoguna" (Shogun's Dream) is a recording that was composed after I had watched the movie "Shogun" (Japanese production). This film left a great impression on me.

2. It so happens that the album "Hibernacja Nr 1" (Hibernation No. 1), originally released in 1990, was actually released by GAD Records on CD for the first time at the end of 2017 only. "Hibernacja Nr 1" (Hibernation No. 1) is a unique patchwork of Art of Noise, synthesizer sounds and cosmic flights far beyond the realm of conventions that dominated the Polish electronic music scene at the time. The compilation that was put together by the French label Akuphone contained four compositions from the album "Hibernacja Nr 1" (Hibernation No. 1) and these are: "Płynąca plazma" (Flowing Plasma), "Symfonia istnień" (Symphony of Lives), "Znikające promienie" (Disappearing Rays) and "Trzeci test" (Third Test). Can you please reveal some of the details regarding the making of this album as a whole, and the individual songs that were included on the Akuphone compilation?

"Hibernacja Nr 1" (Hibernation No. 1) is about suppressing particular rules that were prevalent in electronic music and moving into other fields. It’s about discovery, first and foremost, and a maximum exploitation of the sounds that I programmed, as well as developing the idea of sampling in my musical undertakings. "Płynąca plazma" (Flowing Plasma) uses the voice of a pheasant that was frightened by plasma. "Symfonia istnień" (Symphony of Beings) is a rather long song - a suite, although on "Hibernacja Nr 1" (Hibernation No. 1) it appeared as an edit. The title was given by a friend of mine but, of course, after she heard the original twenty-minute version which was created at that time. "Znikające promienie" (Disappearing Rays) and "Trzeci test" (The Third Test) are a form of cosmic radiation which gradually disappears and then something slightly different emerges out of it, but since we are dealing with a vacuum, the tests don’t show positive results.

3. "Dotyk Chmur” (A Touch of Clouds, 1987) and "Hibernacja Nr 1" (Hibernation No. 1, 1990) coincided with very important political and social changes taking place in Poland. What is your recollection of those times? Was creating electronic music and performing it live in the 80s - which was a period of raging communism - a challenge for you? Or maybe on the contrary, did it activate new sources of creativity?

After the dissolution of the band Exodus, I was intensely drawn to electronic instruments, partly because of the desire to use synthesizers to their maximum capacity because they were then being equipped with their own / original software, of course at the standards of the time. In fact, both of these albums were created in the peaceful and quiet environment of my home studio and were propelled by the energy of raw nature coming from the forest surrounding my house. Practically, everything was recorded on a professional Tascam reel to reel. During this period of raging communism I only had one problem and that was the acquisition of tools to create music. It was a prevalent problem at the time, because most of the equipment was being imported from Germany or Great Britain.

4. What was the electronic music scene like in Poland in the 80s and 90s?

Was it possible to talk about the differences, divisions into particular subcultures, the antagonisms or brotherly support among musicians? The radio was the key to popularize electronic music, primarily the Program III Polskie Radio (Polish Radio Three) and its editor Jerzy Kordowicz who was strongly involved in promoting Polish music. Of course, there were also national magazines that dealt with electronic music. In my opinion, this was sort of “a stable of friendly artists”. Fans of this type of music even got involved in organizing festivals, and there were several of them happening at that time. Electronic music was rather safe, especially regarding its reception, because completely different type of audiences would go to metal shows and to electronic music performances.