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Below The Radar Special Edition: Polish Radio Experimental Studio Revisited 1998–2018

An exclusive anthology of tracks inspired by the legendary Polish Radio Experimental Studio


Polish Radio Experimental Studio Revisited 1998–2018

SOUNDS The Polish Radio Experimental Studio closed down in 2003. Its afterlife, however, began already in 1998. It was then that Norwegian ambient masters Biosphere and Deathprod paid homage to a pioneer in Scandinavian electronic music. On their CD Nordheim Transformed, they mixed their own material with sounds created by their predecessor Arne Nordheim (1931–2010) in Warsaw. Later, a similar path was taken by such artists as Polish turntablist DJ Lenar; Michał Jacaszek, a master of subtle colours; Valerio Tricoli, an Italian virtuoso of the reel-to-reel tape recorder; and Maja SK Ratkje, another Norwegian composer and improvisor. Interestingly, all of them made use of the output of Eugeniusz Rudnik and Bohdan Mazurek, two distinguished music producers from Warsaw who made a strong mark on Nordheim’s sonic world.

VISIONS Sampling and remixing in the broad sense are not just strategies that one can apply today to artefacts from the analogue era. One interesting experiment attempts the reconstruction of archaic sound using completely different tools – an amplified chamber orchestra like the German ensemble Zeitkratzer, or the popular contemporary software used by Jacek Sienkiewicz to evoke the spirit of Bohdan Mazurek. Mirt, in turn, decided to apply a method of laboratory sound augmentation typical of Nordheim to Solitaire, one of the Norwegian composer’s classic works. And the Księżyc ensemble’s Remigiusz Mazur-Hanaj saw a pioneer of avant-folk in Eugeniusz Rudnik.

SHAPES Maps for such analogue-digital pilgrimages have been left by some of the pioneers of electronic music. The score of Bogusław Schaeffer's four-movement Electronic Symphony has now been performed dozens of times. Unlike the lost graphic score of Krzysztof Penderecki that described the sonic material for his pioneering Psalmus, for which Lionel Marchetti made an idiosyncratic reconstruction, and then composed his own work The Answer in response to it. However, what is probably most surprising is a new interpretation of Włodzimierz Kotoński’s Etude For One Cymbal Stroke from 1957. It turns out that the three minute work, whose montage once took 160 hours, can today be played on toy instruments.


DJ Lenar “Second Three”
Jacaszek “Tajga”
Biosphere “Les Fleurs Du Mal” (excerpt)
Valerio Tricoli “Lustra Na Suficie”
Maja SK Ratkje “In Dialogue With Rudnik” (excerpt)
Remigiusz Mazur-Hanaj “Halo, Panie Marianie”
Jacek Sienkiewicz “Drogi”
Denis Ebehard “Icon/perf Zeitkratzer” (excerpt)
Mirt “Solitaire 5” (excerpt)
Włodzimierz Kotoński “Study for One Cymbal Stroke/perf Małe Instrumenty”
Bogusław Schaeffer “Symphony: Electronic Music. Part 1/perf Bohdan Mazurek”
Bogusław Schaeffer “Symphony: Electronic Music. Part 2/perf Thomas Lehn”
Bogusław Schaeffer “Symphony: Electronic Music. Part 3/perf Barbara Okoń-Makowska”
Bogusław Schaeffer “Symphony: Electronic Music. Part 4/perf Wolfram”
Lionel Marchetti “The Answer”