Kapela Ze Wsi Warszawa [Warsaw Village Band] - "Hopsasa"
[Jaro, www.jaro.de]

Fads come and go, but great traditional music will never cease to amaze. Sextet known as Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa [or Warsaw Village Band] has been gaining notoriety over the last few years. Just over a year ago they won the newcomer category of BBC Radio 3's Awards for World Music. It's oddly sad that this is not an ensemble that was widely recognized in their home country until they started to get recognition from abroad. They have released three albums to date. "Hopsasa" is actually a re-issue of their debut, released on Polish Kamahuk label back in 1998. Imagine music from the steppes, only closer [Poland is located in central Europe], and picture harvest time music as it must have sounded over the last several centuries. With rich instrumentation - violin, cellos, bass, accordion, various drums - together with gorgeous vocals from Ksenia Malec [who is backed up by Malgorzata Smiech, Anna Jakubowska and Wiktoria Dlugosz], this band has it down packed. The songs tell of love, live, sex and frolic in the Polish village. Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa likes to stress that their music is not about rehashing the old. Rather, they're interested in updating the old to open people's eyes to rich tradition native music has to offer. Call them ambassadors of Polish traditional music. I've been told their live shows are infamous for their tremendous energy and uplifting spirit. [Note to myself - when they play festival circuit here this summer, must go see them!] "Hopsasa" is a haunting echo from the past updated for the present.

Tom Sekowski


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>> Kapela Ze Wsi Warszawa [Warsaw Village Band] - Hopsasa
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