Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Klaus Mitffoch - Klaus Mitffoch (1984)

Lech Jaierka - bass/vocals (went on to a long solo career)
Krzysztof Pociecha - guitar/backing vocals
Wiesław Mrozik - guitar/backing vocals
Marek Puchała - drums/backing vocals

Since I am primarily of Polish descent, a mind-bendingly good Polish album is something I hold very dear. And in case you needed reminding, the flourishing generation of Polish musicians in the wake of punk all created under (and were frequently censored by) the vigilant policing of the Soviet Union, which by this point was losing it's tenuous grip on Eastern Europe. There is a lot of great music from Cold War Europe, which will find it's way on to this blog, but I consider the sole album by Klaus Mitffoch to be one of the best.

Wikipedia cites Klaus Mitffoch as being Poland's answer to Gang of Four, and while the influence is obvious and welcomed it just doesn't do them justice. (And remember this is before a GoF influence constituted the lame-dicked, chart-topping dirge of the media's 'post-punk revivial' in the early Noughties).
Klaus Mittffoch, as the song 'Nie jestem z nikim' states, are not with anyone, and display a quality that Gang of Four and, understandably, most of their Polish peers did not possess - a sense of humour and playfulness. The album might broadly be described as the ultimate collage of new wave/cold wave (the icy synth-led European equivalent) madness with occasional progressive tendencies... well it might and it just has!
Every song is packed with hooks delivered at outta-my-way speed, but just when you think you have them pegged Klaus Mitffoch will rein it in and deliver a glacial classic like some twisted interpretation of Magazine's 'Permafrost', or make an unexpected timechange. But they rarely slow down enough to stop barking profound-sounding slogans that I am shamefully ill-equipped to interpret.

^This is a good example although there are better songs - it starts out very 'Gang', goes coldwave in the chorus then has a funny bridge.

The band don't want you to take them too seriously either, there are some weird near-psychedelic passages and unexpected flourishes that persist in shaking things up. And unlike much 'cold wave', the production never feels like it's indulging it's own sense of hopelessness, in fact the clean and compressed effects are used as tools for Klaus Mitffoch's own nefarious ends, and only serve to shine a light on their playing ability (I'm sure some digging would reveal they were a jazz fusion outfit in the 70's or something).

This new upload originally came from the sterling Proskynesis blog which is a real treasure trove, go visit, and download the 'Fala' compilation if you want to get to the bedrock of Polish post-punk. The strange logic behind this repeat upload is something along the lines of: EVERYBODYMUSTHEARTHISNOW.

Now as the man says, 'have a nice day and go fuck yourself'.

Jestem tu jestem tam / here I am here I am

Januscz x

1 comment:

Anonymous said... you should check 0:24. unfortunately, audio is not synchronised with video...