Warsaw Village Band

(Website)

The Warsaw Village Band (WVB) is one of the most outstanding groups to come out of Poland in the past few years. Folk music is undergoing a kind of renaissance in Poland, and has become extremely fashionable.
Old persons who still play the traditional Polish instruments were a major inspiration for the musicians of the Warsaw Village Band (WVB). It was with the help of those people that most of the band members learned to play the old instruments auto-didactically. ‘We travelled from village to village, seeking out the old people; we listened to their music and their stories. What surprised us most was that no one else in the villages is interested in this music anymore. These are old people, and when they die, the music will die with them.’ It is entirely thanks to these old people that the band musicians know how to play the instruments in the traditional way.

The most interesting instrument in the collection of the WVB is certain to be the Suka, played by Sylwia: an old Polish form of the violin, originating in the sixteenth century, with strings that are played with the fingernails. The other two women in the band play the zither and the cello, two of the men play drums, and one of them the violin and hurdy-gurdy.
The women sing with powerful voices, song that is sometimes rather shrill but always forceful and impressive. ‘The vocal style is based on the so-called white voice, a special traditional technique originating with the shepherds, who always shouted at the top of their voices. This is combined with the traditional techniques for playing the old Polish instruments.’"
Folk World

Albums

Sun Celebration

Label: Jaro Medien
Distribution in France: L'autre distribution
Release date: July 21, 2017

Sun Celebration” is the seventh album of Warsaw Village Band and the first double album in the band’s discography. WVB sets off on a musical journey towards the sun, beyond horizon, from East to West, and meets on its way incredible artists from India, Persia, and Spanish Galicia. The common element that connects such geographically distant traditions with the Polish folk culture was the solar cult, and it is this spiritual community that became the inspiration for this new production. Sun Celebration presents universal stories about relationships, important transition moments and everyday worries, based on the oldest Polish folk songs. All this happens in sync with the unique and characteristic for WVB “transminimalroots” style, but on a completely new scale.

Warsaw Village Band - Sun Celebration

NORD

Label: Jaro Medien
Distribution in France: L'Autre Distribution
Release date: December 03, 2012

Their 6th album »Nord« is an encounter of musicians in search of common elements between the Slavic peoples, the Scandinavians and the aboriginal peoples of the North. The Warsaw Village Band hosts this musical summit as a tribute to the heroes and mystics, to the Viking warriors and the poets of the Saami and Inuit peoples. All of these diverse but related musical influences meet for the first time ever in the Warsaw Village Band Nord project. Music strangely familiar; harsh, but dignified, cold, rough – deep and strong, with a hint of nostalgia and with a piercing thrill of truth. “They create an edgy reworking of folk styles that can switch between furious dance pieces and passages of quirky, quietly thrilling a cappella vocals” (quote The Guardian, UK).

Warsaw Village Band - NORD

Infinity

Label: JARO
Release date: October 01, 2008

Warsaw Village Band - Infinity

Upmixing

Label: JARO
Release date: January 01, 2007

Following a one-year “maternity/paternity leave”, Warsaw Village Band is returning to the world of CDs and concert stages with two new albums. The first to appear will be the remix CD “Upmixing”. In response to countless requests from the world’s DJs, this CD was produced with the consent of the musicians. The band’s only condition was that it should be a Reggae remix album on the basis of their last studio CD “Uprooting”. The Warsaw Village Band wanted to avoid a mix of mutually incompatible styles. They also stipulated that several of the pieces were to be produced in various versions.

Folk music is going back to its roots – dancing and fun. But now it’s not in a village, but a club, not roots musicians but DJs, not a wedding party but a sound system.
This is the brainchild of Warsaw Village Band – joyful, inventive, danceble. The fruit of much research, hundreds of distant journeys, various fascinations, extraordinary meetings and invaluable friendships.

These are the sounds of Warsaw Village Band presented from the perspective of other creators that they met and connected with along the way – Polish, British, French and Jamaican.
The International success of their „Uprooting” album and BBC World Music Award opened up many varied opportunities for the band worldwide. Valuable Polish music business awards – Fryderyk and Machinery as well as other Polish and foreign awards confirmed the Warsaw Village Band’s special place on the musical map.

Warsaw Village Band - Upmixing

Uprooting

Label: Jaro Medien - 4161-2
Distribution in France: Abeille Musique
Release date: May 28, 2005

The new CD Uprooting is the Warsaw Village Band’s boldest venture yet. On the one hand, the ensemble, winner of the newcomer BBC world music award for their previous album, invited representatives of traditional Polish folklore to join it in the recording studio; on the other hand it forged contacts with two dub-sound and scratch specialists. In view of this unusual blend of elements and epochs, the band had every reason to borrow the old Reggae hero Burning Spear’s words of wisdom as the motto for Uprooting: “Remember the past, but keep it livin’ in the future.” A perfect description of the Warsaw Village Band’s chief intentions.

What is special about – and characteristic of – the band are the trance-like rhythms of two drums and the so-called “white voices” – near-screams, primeval, clear and wild, combined with the suka (knee-violin), cello, dulcimer, violin and hurdy-gurdy. The WVB experiments with its roots, creating an entirely new, suspense-charged relationship between the traditional and the modern.

Warsaw Village Band - Uprooting