Thursday 28 September 2023

M.A.B. - Words Never Told -1986- (Cassette, Anti-Musik Der Landsh, AML 5), Poland


Here's another relic from behind the iron curtain on the great Polish cassette label Anti-Musik Der Landsh that was founded by Mariusz Blachowicz in the small town of Łańcut. The label is another prime example of the hidden counter cultural expressions that were going on in the underground during the socialist times in Eastern Europe in the last century. In a nutshell, first there was state controlled cultural propaganda, then there were examples of youth culture expressions in music that were somehow allowed and then there were things like this, done by a handful of people somewhere deeply hidden in their small towns and basements with some recording equipment solely driven by their own need for expression and a need for artistic freedom. Usually also not really fond of the political circumstances, though never explicitly political. Just a feeling of being stuck, no where out and in need for something to do. Even if by the late 80's the situation had already somewhat softened, not being able to be properly classified by the authorities was potentially enough to somehow incriminate you.

Anti-Musik Der Landsh published a range of incredible Polish underground acts like R-27, Hiena, Reportaż, Rafael and KSU. Most of the music was free improvisation driven, a Polish signature that was also very apparent in the second half of the twentieth century in Polish jazz and contemporary composed music. But the other sonic side of the spectrum was already infused by punk and even more marginally so by industrial outings. Maybe some of those abstract sounds went along fine against the backdrop of some of the bleaker Polish urban landscapes.

M.A.B. was a project by Mariusz Blachowicz himself that was dedicated to his own experiments with tape loops, radio sounds, the manipulation of instruments and free improvisation. Three M.A.B. cassettes were released on AML and all three sound very different from each other. Words Never Told is a lo-fi primitive recording of cassette experimentation colliding with homemade anti-folk-rock; basically the sound of escapism and freedom against the weight of the last decade of a repressive political system that had Eastern Europe in its grip until the hopeful moment of the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the gradual collapse of the Soviet Union. But unfortunately, whenever old problems dissolve, new problems rise. Or maybe the problems were never solved. Maybe it's time to grab that old tape recorder and that broken guitar again from the basement... Who knows. Te zabawki robią trochę hałasu i szkód. A ta była naprawdę prymitywna.

Get Words Never Told HERE