An Introduction to Avant-Garde Electronic Music in Poland 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the reach of Polish underground music, in terms of both sonics and audience. That development didn’t come out nowhere; the country’s rich history of experimental cinema and animation fuelled a tradition of avant-garde music in the mid-20th century, deploying pioneering tape sampling methods alongside early synths to soundtrack many experimental short films. Warsaw-based audiovisual duo (and sisters) WIDT offer up a short history lesson: “In 1957, the Studio Eksperymentalne Polskiego Radia (Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio) was found by composer Józef Patkowski,” they explain. “This was the place where the soundtracks were produced and [where the] most significant creators came from.”

Since Poland was still deeply under Soviet pressure at the time, it was only possible for this outpost of experimental electronic music to emerge during the détente in Russian influence that followed Stalin’s death in 1953. By 1956, Poland had became noticeably more autonomous, and censorship’s reach gradually declined. In the 1980s, groups like Germany’s Tangerine Dream were hugely popular, and homegrown Polish pioneers like Marek Biliński were starting to experiment with electronics, finally outside of the context of soundtrack work.

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