Ch?opcy Kontra Basia first came to the attention of Riverboat Records via our Battle of the Bands online competition, where artists can submit a track to be considered for a quarterly draw. Upon hearing the entrancing minimalist track ‘Jerzy’ we knew Ch?opcy Kontra Basia were something special. Eighteen months of conversations and creations later, we held in our hands the full length Ch?opcy Kontra Basia album that we proudly present to you on Monday 25 August 2014.
'this intriguing new Polish band match tradition with experiment... engaging, dramatic and acrobatic'
4****stars, The Guardian
Poland’s Ch?opcy Kontra Basia spin original folk-tale lyrics and weave them with voice, double-bass and percussion. Oj Tak! leads you along a cake-crumb trail to an irresistibly surreal world.
'fun, refreshing and immaculately executed'
The Independent On Sunday
The band’s name translates as ‘Boys Against Basia’ and features wordplay around the double bass (kontrabas). This reflects the line-up: headstrong singer Basia fronts the band gently guiding things towards an educated folk edge while Marcin and Tomasz bring up the backline with their jazz outlook. Basia trained as a classical musician before realising her vision to create contemporary music that voices the folk music of Poland in new, modern settings.
'Jazz flute? From a folky Polish trio? Oh yeah!'
4****stars, Songlines - Top Of The World
As Basia puts it herself, this is a band that lives in a ‘modern reality but are fascinated by disappearing sounds’. Traditional Polish forms that have inspired the trio, such as mazurek, oberek and kujawiak, can all be detected in the tracks heard on this album. But the band’s energy runs much deeper than a simple exercise in folk revision. They embrace the aesthetic of Polish folk set in a jazz tone, but also author their own rich imagery and invented quirky fairy-tales via their inimitable lyrical voice.
Basia Derlak’s silken voice weaves its course above deep double bass and hushed shuffling drums on this stylish debut from the Polish trio, Ch?opcy Kontra Basia. Thematic material is drawn from folk history, jazz tradition and the contemporary alternative scene in Kraków and Warsaw. Many of the metaphors in the songs are related to traditional folk tales, but also carve out Ch?opcy Kontra Basia’s irresistibly surreal and individual world of imagination.
'the songs mull over poisoning a husband with a viper and being stood up by a river god' 3***stars, FT.com
These days you’ll find Ch?opcy Kontra Basia playing at art-house clubs in Kraków, filming their latest kooky music video, researching sacred choral harmonies or experimenting with percussion innovations like thefutujara, a multi-key version of the Slovakian fujara pipe promoted by Siberian multi-instrumentalist Vladiswar Nadishana.