Indies Scope: Poems That Sing

For the 30th birthday of record label Indies Scope, Brno Daily looks back at the history of this icon of the Brno music scene, revisiting a selection of the most significant releases from the label’s back catalogue. We are presenting one album every week, with commentary from co-founder Milan Páleš, who started the label with Miloš Gruber in 1990. Image: Courtesy of Indies Scope.

Continuing our retrospective series on key releases from the iconic Brno record label Indies Scope, Brno Daily is today going back to 2003…

The Context in 2003

The Kills, The Raveonettes, The Darkness, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Peaches, The White Stripes, The Distillers and many more… here came the New Rock Revival!

Now well into a new decade, mp3 and video sharing were increasing, and the music industry had launched a wave of pop rock newcomers, bands with guitars and a style of fashion that was to be the last drop of a kind of rock music that everyone thought was done.

But nothing was done, and in 2003, the simpler the approach, the more success.

The White Stripes, with just two members, released “Seven Nation Army”, the four-minute lead track from their album Elephant, which quickly became a true anthem with real rock attitude and sound.

Meanwhile at Indies scope

Artist: Vladimír Václavek

Album: Písně nepísně

Ten years after his first solo album, guitarist Vladimír Václavek released his second, having played in the meantime in the bands Dunaj, Rale, and VRM, and with Iva Bittová in the band Čikori. The album “Písně nepísně” was recorded over a month in Luboš Malinovský’s Brno studio. Václavek set to music works by the poets Bohuslav Reynek, F. G. Lorca, and Antonín Přidal, as well as several of his own. He invited guests including J. Honzák on bass guitar, P. Binder on electric guitar, M. Bárta on saxophone, M. Dvořáček on percussion, M. Himerová on viola and B. Cicku on vocals. Václavek himself plays guitar, percussion and sings on the record, which includes nine songs musically connected to Bílá Inferno and the band VRM.

Milan Páleš remembers…

The bass player of the legendary alternative Brno band Dunaj played acoustic guitar in his older projects, such as Domácí Lékař with Josef Ostřanský. After the first solo attempt, Jsem hlína, which was released on cassette only in 1992, and later also on CD with bonus tracks, he recorded a real solo album, also inviting guests like Jaromír Honzák, Marcel Bárta and Miloš Dvořáček on drums. On this album, he also set to music the well-known poems of Bohuslav Reynek, such as “Blázen jsem ve své vsi” and “Odlet vlaštovek”. By the way, Vladímír’s music for the poem is one of the best I know of that has been recorded.

Brno Daily reviews

This second album is composed of nine tracks, with an average length of 7 minutes.

It is an album built on the importance of lyrics, with poetry as a base, surrounded by strong melodic guitar, and addition of drums and string instruments.

The tracks often start slowly and calmly, and increase to their own rhythm throughout the minutes.

The addition of Viola and saxophone as production arrangements gives the compositions a deeper and slightly more experimental flavour (“Odlet vlaštovek”).

The experimentation seems to deconstruct step by step (or track by track) the initial stable composition and switches to real undergrounds structures (“Shi na nai”), which carry a sense of disorientation, a pleasant way to lose yourself between the initial freedom of words and a wave of darker instrumental melodies.

A journey guided by one voice, one character, concluding in a theatrical dialogue, an album which needs more listens to be understood and appreciated, because in the music of 2003, the track list, like chapters in a book, was predominant and symbolized an entire path, a means of producing and proposing to the audience, a real trip.

You can stream this album here, or find more information on Indies scope

More from this series:

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