The Ecstasy of St. Theresa, Ohm Squared and Significant Other: All talented contributions to the Czech electronic soundscape, but where are they now?
Well, except for a few local gigs, Jan Muchow and his ridiculous eyewear collection have all but faded from the music publishing business.
Rumor has it that "E.O.S.T." achieved their demi-god status from sales of a mere 500 units. Significant Other has also gone belly up despite heavy rotation and press accolades countrywide.
Fear not, the electronic musical renaissance has borne fruit. Quazi-Delict records from the heart of old town is publishing some of the most intriguing new collections in years. With the huge success of their debut Jungle Is Massive and The Future Sound of Prague, Quazi’s latest collection Inform, is a superb collection of local talent, embodying all spheres of dance music. Funky dance grooves, wicked jungle, breaks, a ballad and the requisite 4/4 standards. This collection is heavy on the ambient tones. Lots of warm string patches and soothing samples.
Inform should serve as a model for the "D.I.Y" ethos. This is a non-corporate product, conceived, funded and created by the D. J’s and knob twiddlers who know precisely what they want, and how to make it happen. Alfonso, Quazi’s spokesperson, informed me that Radio One legend Stanzim, was instrumental in the project’s inception. Other musicians involved on this disc are members of Colorfactory, Tomáš Dvo?ák, Pavel Rejholec, DJ’s Bidlo and XT3’s Jungle producer/Dj Lukas.
The Disc’s politically correct "Eco-pack" bez plastique is in perfect keeping with the musician’s simplistic ideology. The die-cut gatefold sleeve was actually more expensive to produce than conventional boxes, but was aesthetically in tune with this release, says Alfonso.
This is the ideal sampler for those unfamiliar to Prague’s rich dance music environs. None of the music featured follows any conventional dance formula. Baycal’s "Sugar" opens with acidizer 16th notes and the computer default sample, "Try again" the song then explodes with a break-beat bassline royale followed by a delicate bridge with acoustic guitar and cross-eyed stoner samples.
The album’s opener, "Little Antarctic Trip" by Majestic 12, is destined to become a breakbeat classic. Huge organ tone intro segues effortlessly into paddycake breaks and I’m off to Kampa with the boombox, pes, and Frisbee… Neo’s "Back 4 more" is the Czech answer to Laurent Garnier. Deep house specialist Zdenek Krejãí? gets moody with diva-esque vocals and thunderous bass.
This record delights on many levels, but most notably the musicians’ sensitivity towards melody. I’ve never been one to enjoy lyrics in English with thick foreign accents, however the sheer musicality invested far outweighs this distraction. "3 inches" by Collective Consciousness brings the Colourfactory vibe on strong.
The keyboard programming that closes the cut is sheer genius. Late afternoon, stuck in the flat, lovesick, no cash, I’m amazed how one disc can evoke such a replete range of emotions as this. "Inform" is the genre crossing, Millennium sampler. If Brian Eno and Roger Sanchez shared a flat in Žižkov this would be the record they would create.