18 Jan, 2011
Fresh Polish music: Projekt Warszawiak
Over a year ago I wrote about a project called Cafe Fogg, which revived an old Polish crooner’s music and ‘translated’ it for a modern audience. Projekt Warszawiak (Warszawiak, in Polish, is a person living in Warsaw) is inspired by – and relies on – music produced by legendary Warsaw-based folk bands like Orkiestra z Chmielnej. This is how Łukasz Garlicki and Jacek Jędrasik, two artists behind Projekt Warszawiak, describe their venture:
WARSAW. A city with a broken spine, destroyed tradition and ugly, impolite character, deserves respect. There are few authentic trails of the past left, so it’s worth it to look for them and to share with others even more.
This project is a tribute to all the Warsaw street musicians, pre-war composers, and song writers who gave the music spirit to this city…
Legendary street tunes and lyrics were the inspiration to create the tracks described by digital effects, samples, electronic beat and live instruments.
Special thanks and regards to the Chmielna Street Orchestra – the real source of the party-and-music raptures!
I’m fascinated by the cheeky, in-your-face lyrics (“Your wife won’t find out her hubby drank all night to ladies’ health”) accompanied by dark, at times experimental-sounding electronic music. Not sure this will be everyone’s cup of tea, but I guess neither were the original tracks, although they sat at the opposite end of the musical spectrum.
Nevertheless, Projekt Warszawiak seems to be taking Poland by storm. This video has been viewed on YouTube over a million times already and it’s only been up for a couple of weeks.
I’ve seen this clip posted on Facebook more often than any other Polish video over the past few years. And it’s brilliantly done. You can almost smell Warsaw. The real, everyday Warsaw – where the old world, however ugly or fascinating it might be, clashes with its ambitious, pretentiously modern and at times depressing equivalent.
Here is “Nie ma cwaniaka nad Warszawiaka” (which losely translates as “No one is as crafty as a Warszawiak”). Pure gold.