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Album Review

The brilliant Warsaw Village Band are back with another descent into pan-European musical debauchery. Very few bands make ethnomusicology sound like so much fun. Hailing from Poland and led by violinist Wojtek Krzak and cellist/singer Maja Kleszcz, the Warsaw Village Band joyfully blends folk tunes from its native region with elements of rock, funk, soul, hip-hop, klezmer, and Scandinavian music to create a slightly chaotic and always thrillingly energetic sound. On Infinity, the vinegary female harmonies of "Wise Kid Song" give way to the darker and even lovelier tonalities of "1.5 h"; "Skip Funk" features a nice blend of acoustic instruments, vocals, and funky turntablism; "Polska Fran Polska" evokes "Hall of the Mountain King" (and features some really lovely dulcimer playing by Magdalena Sobczak) while simultaneously demonstrating the connections between Polish and Scandinavian dance music; and "Circle No. 1" tops off the program in delicately lovely fashion with just violin, suka, and dulcimer. Every so often an experiment does go awry: fake blues is almost always embarrassing, and the Jan Trebunia Tutka vehicle "Little Baby Blues" is no exception; "Heartbeat" is effectively emotive but musically unsatisfying. But it's the clunkers that bring out the texture on an album like this, and this one is a solid winner overall.

Biography

Formed: 21 March 1997 in Warsaw, Poland

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Poland's post-communist music scene of the 1990s and 21st century has included everything from bubblegum Europop to death metal and black metal to jazz to traditional Polish folk. The music of the Warsaw Village Band could be described as contemporary Polish folk-rock; they are far from purists when it comes to Polish folk, but no one will accuse them of sounding like an American or British Top 40 group that just happens to have lyrics in Polish. Rather, the Warsaw Village Band have favored an approach...
Full bio
Infinity, Warsaw Village Band
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