The second mix in this series was a tour through Czech and Slovak experimental music, created by Gurun Gurun’s Jara Tarnovski. Originally posted in Fall 2011 at the now-even-more-silent The Silent Ballet, it remains one of our more popular mixes. You can read the interview and listen to that original mix at Noise Economy. I recently approached Tarnovski about producing a sequel to go even deeper into the contemporary scene and the result is what you have before you. Please read more about these artists below. (Joseph Sannicandro)
CZ/SK Mix Vol. II.
(Contemporary Czech & Slovak electronic and improvisational music)
compiled, mixed and photographed by Tarnovski (Gurun Gurun), 2014
- Jonas Gruska – Luna [self-released]
- Count Portmon – I [Signals from Arkaim]
- Federsel – Vinegar and Water [Meteorismo]
- Stratocluster – Live at Wakushoppu [Wakushoppu]
- Jack Jack – A [self-released]
- Andrej Danoczi – Tomu vsetkemu je na vine ten tvoj… [Meteorismo]
- IQ+1 – 1 [Poli5]
- Laura Luna – Translation Adrift [Freakshow]
- Site – Predstupen [Tape-ty]
- Selectone – Dead Swan (ft. Miriam Ingram) [Ressonus]
- Vojtech Prochazka – The Great War [Signals from Arkaim]
- The Pololaniks – Hlacenstvo [Signals from Arkaim]
- Gurun Gurun – Uzu (ft. Asuna) [previously unreleased]
- Core of the Coalman – Shapeshifter Birdleaves Little Minsk [Meteorismo]
- Daniel Kordik – Salty rivers mouldy dates [LOM]
- Phaerentz – Tape Music Schiphorst 2013 [Phaerlag]
- Prague Improvisation Orchestra – PIO in BIO (live) [previously unreleased]
- Angakkut – The Telltale Moozadell (by Andrew Liles) [LOM]
- B4 – Music for trees (Vedecka II remix) [Poli5]
- Tarnovski – Od oot toom mot [previously unreleased]
Born in Czechoslovakia. Studied at Institute of Sonology in The Hague (Netherlands) and at Music Academy in Cracow (Poland). Works mostly with computers and electronics as a musician and sound artist under his civil name, or as Mrkva or Binmatu. He has authored interactive poems and visual performances, and is also a developer of open source computer instruments, artistic software and hardware. In 2011 Jonas started label LOM focused on East/Central European experimental art and music.
CP is the experimental solo project of pianist, keyboardist and electronic improviser Jan Faix, member of Unifiction, Skryty puvab byrokracie, Stratocluster, Tembryo, Bob Saint-Claire and co-founder of netlabel Signals from Arkaim.
Federsel is the artistic moniker of Tomas Prochazka, leader of B4 and member of the post-industrial duo Radio Royal, of the experimental theatrical group Handa Gote and of the project Gurun Gurun (Home Normal). His new album Speaker deals with hypnagogic inspirations in music and more than agresivity or straightforward psychedelia is trying to depict scattered vision and disordered data by form typical for hypnagogic states.
Starocluster is an improvising sextet (Ian Mikyska, Benjamin McGar, Jan Faix, Mikulas Mrva, Jan Kulka, Tomas Mika), formed in 2013. Their debut album Tamanrasset was released by Czech experimental netlabel Signals from Arkaim.
CzechoSlovak experimental “noise positive” band Jack Jack present their own approach to a specific type of experimantal music called “no-input music”. Their music is created only with the use of mixing boards and cables and it shows the decadent beauty of the digital echo. Noise, drone, bangs and beats hidden in the machine show that this minimalistic approach results in unexpectedly rich sound scapes.
Andrej Danoczi is a lone runner of the alternative scene in Trencin, Slovakia. The spectrum of his activity is wide, he makes commercial music but also challenging experimental collages, often in lo-fi, amorphous areas. His work is characteristic for recycling ready-made sounds – “bastardacie” (bastardisations). Andrej Danoczi is also the co-founder and member of the group Analog Apple.
IQ+1 is a Prague-based improvising quintet, formed in May 2010, and consisting of Georgij Bagdasarov (vintage turntable, baritone sax, guitar), Katerina Bilejova (body weather, an aspect of Butoh dance), Jara Tarnovski (analog synths, theremin, kalimba, FX, percussion), Petr Vrba (clarinet, trumpet) and Michal Zboril (analog synths, kalimba). Their last (eponymous) album was released in late 2013 on Poli5.
Laura Luna is a Mexican-bred, Prague-based multimedia artist who only recently added “sound production” to her multitude of mediums. But you’d never guess she’s been at it for just over a year now, especially given the depth and scope of Isolarios, recently issued via Baba Vanga. Laura’s approach to music could be easily described as synesthetic. Composing tracks and work with sound has became a tool of approach to her memories and lost emotions, that appear in the form of flashbacks triggered by seamingly unrelated sounds or samples.
Site is an ambient project of Honza Kaspar (Obelisk of Light, ex-Pavilon M2) and Honza Tomas (Tomáš Palucha, ex-Thema 11).
Selectone is a music project of David Rambousek (the boss of Ressonus, a Czech label focused on ambient and experimental electronics). Selectone’s 2007 record Unearthed developed in a rhizomatic system, incorporating elements of glitch, click’n’cuts and recyclation. His latest record, Dead Grooves, extolls the circle movement: literally. Shaped by the revolution of the used shellac records and magnetic tapes as well as multiple recollections of his own, shelled recordings created in isolation.
Pianist Vojtech Prochazka is one of the founding members of the Czech-Norwegian trio Bergljot (Sofa). Bergljot began as an acoustic jazz trio in 2008, quickly moved through free jazz to acoustic improvised music and is now in the middle of a heavy electric period with synthesizers, electronics and electric bass. What haven’t changed is a strict and minimalistic approach of slow development with special focus on richness of sound and energetic, clear execution.
The Pololaniks is the Czech electro-acoustic improv quintet. Their core instruments are trombone, double bass, recorders, guitar, saxophone/clarinet and laptop, but other, more peculiar DIY instruments and found objects (e.g. bowed CPU heatsinks) make frequent appearance. The Pololaniks’ debut album will be released this autumn on Poli5.
Czech-based experimental quartet Gurun Gurun are Tomas Knoflicek, Jara Tarnovski, Ondrej Jezek and Federsel. Their musical work combines guitars, analogue synthesizers and acoustic instruments to span musical spaces ranging from hypno-minimalist atmospheres to warm tones of slow moving, repetitive melodic stanzas. GG’s second album Kon B will be released next spring by Home Normal.
Core of the Coalman
Jorge Boehringer is an composer, artist, musician, and researcher exploring large scale landscapes and microscopic layers of process and form and how they interact with perceptual experience. Boehringer’s solo project, Core of the Coalman, is at once an open sketchbook, and a collection of compositions perpetually in a state of evolution. Core of the Coalman can be characterized as continuity and discontinuity for viola, voice, and circuits on the border between order and chaos.
Daniel Kordik is a musician and performer, born in Slovakia and currently based in London. Weaving a thread around electronic and improvised music, Kordik works mainly as an improviser, music collaborator, field recordist and a regular member of the duo Jamka (Sub Rosa) and Urbsounds Collective. He plays regurarly in an improvised duo with the trombonist Edward Lucas.
Phaerentz is a solo project of Petr Ferenc, a Czech music journalist and musician, renowned mostly for his hauntological project Birds Build Nests Underground. In his solo work he focuses on physical qualities of sound and its reaction with space and listeners‘ bodies and minds. By phase shifting of short loops he creates surprising acoustic and polyrhythmic phenomena that cannot be fully anticipated beforehand. The result is a psycho-acoustic minimalist experience that focuses on extended repetition as a means to discovering motion in static.
Prague Improvisation Orchestra
PIO was started in summer 2012 by George Cremaschi and Petr Vrba, inspired by people like Globe Unity Orchestra, Sun Ra Arkestra, Butch Morris, Scratch Orchestra, Moe Staiano, and Splitter Orchestra. Focusing on contemporary improvisation practice and working with conducted improvisation, free improvisation, open scores, and graphic notation.
Angakkut is a new shining light in Slovak underground music scene. The band which consists of many known coming and leaving musicians and visual artists, namely Zden, Eskimo Elektra, Ika, Gottlieb, ::.:, Acidmilk and Drakh. Some people describe it as lullabies for suicidal personalities, but in musical terms it is a strong combination of ambient, folk, blues and post-post-post-rock.
B4 is the only krautrock band in Czech Republic. The band’s studio recordings and live performances are highly distinctive. In a similar way to those of Can or Nurse with Wound they are a homogeneous current of wild improvisation. This is authentic music made by experts — if you love vintage beats, experimental music and krautrock in general, you need this!
Jara Tarnovski is one of the founding members of experimental/electronic quartet Gurun Gurun and works as a music composer for radio, animated film, multimedia and art installations. He also plays solo and with bands Wabi Experience (Nomadic Kids Republic) and IQ+1 (Poli5). Jara is currently working on his first solo album.