Sometimes you’re writing an artist biopic; and you wind up getting a history lesson. As was the case when I spoke to Piotr Miroslav, lead singer and guitarist for Blisko Pola. Turns out the name of the group translated means “close to the pole.” And apparently (as I have never been) Poland gets its name because of the vast amounts of agriculture there (as in “Pole Land”).

“Poland is a country full of fields,” Piotr said. “So traveling by car or train, one can see many of them, kind of like a sea of golden wheat. And one might feel by getting off they could ‘catch the uncatchable’ (sic) or try to get close to this something.”

However, what Piotr et al. have truly gotten closer to is their music with the release of their self-titled debut album. The instrumentation is presented classically, raw and devoid of effects or post-production work. “We recorded the instruments one after another,” he said. “The idea was to get as close to the ‘truth’ as possible. So there’s no reverberation on the vocals or instruments, making the album seem really raw.”

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The final product does render a raw, Earthy sound as seen on tracks like “Sambaczaczabossanova.” Opening to simple percussion and drone vocals with accompanying double bass fill-ins, intermittent guitar plucks and viola moans. “Hear” opens demurely with simple guitar work, snare and high-hat, gradually building to the crescendo at the near end. Title track “Blisko Pola” is dour and ominous with its thumping signature and frequent time changes. The viola and clarinet duet at the midpoint stands at the foreground of a track laden with multiple soundscapes.

Surprisingly for a six piece, the outfit plays with a mantra of simplicity. Beats, notes and strums, though deliberate, are carefully placed and played with each standing on its own merit. And despite so many members bringing individual influences to the table, the commitment to their sound is preeminent. “While recording the album we didn’t think of anyone’s music and just tried to do it like we felt would be best, without influences.” Piotr said. “And I have this idea that you just find inspiration somewhere else than in music.”

The debut album is available through most major online distribution sites but Blisko Pola are not ones to rest on their laurels. “We’re working on a new album, more experimental, more acoustic, more electronic,” Piotr said. “And this year we plan to tour Poland in the spring with the new material and move on to other European countries in the autumn. If possible, we would also like to go beyond. But mostly writing new things, working on the new songs and making the experience richer than the first.”

By Chris West – cwest@skopemagazine.com

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