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Maanam – best of Polish music

My recent music posts concentrated mostly on some new Polish artists, but I’ve just come across a really old video which gave me goose pimples and made me shout with joy.

Everybody, may I introduce you to one of the best Polish bands ever, Maanam.

At the height of their career – and this was way back in the early 1980s, when Poland was still in the ugly claws of Communism – Maanam were the epitome of cool, largely thanks to their unique sound and the distinctive voice and fiery personality of their lead singer, Kora.

The band formed in 1976 in Kraków and for a long time were closely associated with the city – musically were almost its emblem. To some at least.

Often referred to as post-punk, guitar-heavy and energetic, the band ruled the airwaves in the 1980s and in early 1990s (I think it might have been 1989 or 1990) became the first Polish band whose video was featured on MTV.  And then it went downhill.

They’re still going strong and even touring Poland,  but they’re much more commercial nowadays.

So let me show you three of their most electrifying videos from the times they were really cool. The first one is called ‘Luciola’ and just listen to the guitar and watch the quirky, dark and simply AWESOME video:

Now this one is equally dark, but somehow even more twisted. For some strange reason visually it’s very similar to ‘Luciola’.

In this one Kora sings in English and even though foreign languages are probably not her strongest point, I could listen to this song on repeat for ever. The video also offers a rare glimpse of Kraków the way it looked when nobody had any hope for a better future. Ladies and gents, it’s ‘Lipstick on the glass':

GOOSE PIMPLES! Loved that, did you? I’m really curious to see what you thought and whether you think the songs have stood the test of time.

So to finish this Maanam-athon, one last vid, ‘Simple story':

Your thoughts?

More Polish Music:
Czesław Spiewa
Smolik and Novika

Fresh music: Novika and Smolik

Looking for new musical inspiration? Look east. After my recent post on new Polish folk/rock music, time to introduce a bit of electronica.

Here are two people who are not afraid to experiment with electro, jazz, house and anything in between, Smolik and Novika.

Smolik started his career in a Polish band called Wilki, but quickly became known as a talented multi-instrumentalist and composer. He has collaborated with a wide variety of Polish musicians, including Michal Urbaniak (if you’re into jazz, you should be familiar with his hame).

Smolik has released three albums so far. The first song below is his collaboration with Novika, a Polish singer and radio presenter (who’s recently released an album called Tricks of Life – haven’t heard it yet, but it came highly recommended):

The other song is from my favourite Smolik CD, Three.

As always, curious to know what you’ve thought.

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