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Polish duo Skalpel channeled the influence of their homeland's rich jazz traditions into their own contemporary electronic sound. DJs/producers Marcin Cichy and Igor Pudlo first teamed in Wroclaw, Poland, in 1998. Working in virtual anonymity, Skalpel soon began assembling the first of their Eastern European fusion-inspired cut-and-paste mosaics by sampling classic LPs from artists including Krzysztof Komeda, Tomasz Stanko, and the Novi Sisters, spending months and even years in search of the right sounds to complete each individual track. In 2000 Pudlo interviewed Ninja Tune label artist DJ Vadim for the Polish hip-hop magazine Klan. Soon after, Vadim invited Skalpel to tour Poland with his Russian Percussion ensemble, and after returning to Wroclaw the duo issued their debut CD-R, Polish Jazz. Despite limited distribution, the release was the subject of rapturous acclaim and in 2001 Ninja Tune extended a record deal. Skalpel spent the next three years working on its self-titled debut LP, earning comparison to jazz icons Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock with the end result. Konfusion followed in 2007. ~ Jason Ankeny