Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Raphael Roginski and Polish New Jewish Music part 1 - Cukunft [Lado ABC]

Raphael Roginski has appeared quite a few times on the blog already and the reason for this is quite simple, I believe he's one of the most original artists around, his guitar playing sound is completely unique and he's quite a multi-tasker leading a handful a different project. Named, with a reason, the animator of the revival of jewish music in Poland in recent years. A trend which treads its beginnings to the release of "Shofar" cd in 2007 - a trio with Mikolaj Trzaska and Macio Moretti playing together music that Roginski found in the archives of ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovsky. It so happens that, after quite a long hiatus, two of Roginski's bands released new music in 2013 so I decided to gather them together.
(for previous references on Roginski you might check the posts about Hera XL, Cukunft's concert with Maria Raducanu, his new band Wovoka as well as the special Yemenite music project). 

Cukunft - Wilde Blumen
Raphael Roginski - guitar
Pawel Szamburski - clarinet, bass clarinet
Michal Gorczynski - clarinet, tenor sax
Pawel Szpura - drums

Lado ABC 2013

Cukunft (yiddish for "Future") is quite a band of madmen on stage (you most definitely need to see, whilte it's still on the web, their concert with Maria Raducanu that took place on Krakow Jewish Festival 2013) - it's punk-rock energy and crazy circus madness applied by two raving clarinets, guitar and drums.

Yet  "Wilde Blumen" ("Wild Flowers") show quite a different aspect of their music. Pensieve and quite sorrow, carefully crated tunes that flow gentle and precious. Memories named after flowers. Peaceful and delicate ("Farges Mikh Nit" - "Forgetmenot"), with occasional dramatic cry ("Kholem-Blum") or dramatic tension rise (the haunting "Meshugene Grapyelekh" - "Primrose"). 
"Monblum" ("Poppy") is a more upbeat tune, with tenor sax and bass clarinet that create a dense rhythmic counterpoint, Szpura's drums push forward with a marching beat as Roginski's guitar can cut the air with sharp line. "Pukhbliml" ("Dandelion") starts as well more dynamic, with clarinets and guitar exchanging rhythmic accents within the rushed melody.

Cukunft creates music that is intrinsically Jewish but is not folk or ethnic in a typical way. This is undeniably modern music, contemporary expression. In fact it might be seen as bit rebellious I guess, although it had to be difficult to dialogue in rebellious way with a tradition that was virtually non-existent when the band was born. The revival of Jewish music in Poland is not unlike the rise of the Phoenix from the ashes and Cukunft played a big part in it. 
Cukunft and "Wild Flowers" is haunting listen, it keeps you engaged, emotionally and spiritually invested. And it's bit disapointing when the cd ends with an abrupt chord at 35 minutes on the clock. This the music you want to keep returning to.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting so much on Roginski, etc. Almost unknown here on the west coast of Canada!


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