Warsaw Village Band
‘Remember your past, but keep living in the future!’ was the Burning Spear quote that appeared on the Warsaw Village Band album Uprooting. This is by no means just a catchy slogan, since the Warsaw Village Band has always strived to find in its performances the common voice of city and village culture, and past and the future, archaic and modern tools, and east and west. These buzzwords might sound hackneyed in world music today, but the Warsaw Village Band is truly fluent in its use as required by their main musical direction, trance. Since the band’s formation in 1998, it has consistently cultivated ‘the tradition of the next generation’, using archaic folk instruments - the cimbalom, hurdy-gurdy, hand drum, and the ‘suka’ fiddle dating back to the 17th century - all effortlessly paired with dub electronica and hip hop. In tandem with the unique instrumentation, their magic lies in the powerful female vocals. It is enough for them to through up an ancient melody and ‘grab hold of it’, improvising on its motifs until they achieve ‘lift off’. On their album Nord, they turn to the north in collaboration with the Swedish cult favourite Hedningarna, while on their newest disc, Sun Celebration, they follow the path of the Sun, injecting the spiritualism of Sufi music into Warsaw trance in the company of Mercedes Peón from Galicia, Kayhan Kalhor from Iran, Ustad Liaquat Ali Khan from India and the DHOAD Gypsies of Rajasthan. Irresistibly and more persistently than the Sun.
Commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music programme and the international POLSKA 100 programmes celebrating the centenary of the declaration of Polish independence; financed as part of the NIEPODLEGŁA 2017-2021 of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Photo credit: Radek Polak