Cxemcast 052 – Rrrkrta
Tell us about the mix. What is the idea behind it?
Kostya, who manages K 55 in Warsaw, let us record it at their venue. We borrowed a recorder from Bartosz Kruczyński. Along with him and my friend Ania, we were waiting to attend A Day Without a Woman protest that took place just nearby. The mix was recorded in one take, mostly with vinyl. We don’t remember the idea behind it, but Justin Bieber was definitely involved (it was either him or Spiral Tribe, and Bartosz made a wise choice).
How did you come up with the Brutaż name?
Actually, it was Piotr Kurek, who started parties in Eufemia in Warsaw before they became dance-oriented. It's a Polish spelling of a French word “bruitage” (“noise effects”). That's how the name is pronounced, otherwise I call the police.
What is the concept of your party series?
Having fun and trying to create space for each other. In the end, however, somebody annoying always comes in, and we have to pretend we're listening to music.
Why is there a basketball in the logo?
Browsing the Internet quickly is entertaining: that was the first interesting image we’ve found. Is a strong, yet neutral symbol.
Are you planning to tour with your party series outside of Poland?
We are throwing parties all around Poland with monthly nights in Kraków and Poznań. We also had a regular event at OHM in Berlin, but it's no more for now. Very few people are interested in actually supporting Eastern Europe and underdeveloped scenes — economic equality is just not included in concepts of inclusiveness that are so fashionable right now. The Polish border is 100 km away from Berlin, but over the course of the last year not a single Polish artist has played at any large Berlin club. It's pretty cool that we somehow started to believe in the notion of just social ladder within the underground dance music community. However, who actually told us that? Moreover, what if those people and places are not really that necessary?
What was your inspiration to develop Brutaż into what it is now?
The development took place naturally. Plenty of folks attending Brutaż are pretty self-aware, but in a somehow ambiguous way. They are looking for an alternative space where things are both fierce and anxious. Clubs usually try to force their strong identity upon insecure youngsters, but we're trying to follow them instead, not trying to create a “brand” that sells packaged, defined sounds and vision.
Did you face any challenges at the beginning?
We took over Brutaż from Piotr Kurek and Kelo shortly after it was started, and somehow it became relatively big, even though we weren't really sure how to do anything. We always wanted to redefine the kind of vibe that you can bring into the club. Some folks don't like to be challenged, so they complain to this day. Every party attracts roughly around 300 people, and we provide pretty ridiculous music, but the backlash is still big. We're considered to be either judgmental hipsters who don't know how to have fun, or total junkies. However, we came to terms with it because the criticism makes those critics look cool, and we're simply happy for them. Because we still do manage to do our thing.
Do you sometimes feel that by doing such unconventional parties you educate people by showing that club culture has no strict boundaries? Do you see any changes it has brought to Polish club life?
Sometimes the absence of education is the best education one can get. However, it doesn't include the struggle against sexism, homophobia, and economic discrimination that needs to be upheld, especially in the nighttime. We would like to work more in that direction.
At what kind of political changes are Brutaż events aimed?
Brutaż is supposed to be nothing more than a safe harbor, so we're just trying to exclude the harmful attitude. Also, we're learning that dancing naked isn’t a crime.
How do you come up with lineups for the parties?
We were incredibly lucky to befriend extraordinary talented DJs and performers of various provenance. We're trying to expand our community with every party, so we're looking for performers, DJs and, basically, new friends, whom we'd like to introduce to those we already know. In addition, it's 90% vinyl-oriented, because before we have even claimed that, people were already hating on us for not being serious about anything. So we decided to become serious.
Do you book foreign artists or mostly try to invite local dudes?
We don't announce lineups, but the idea is to always have one foreign performer per party night. Moreover, the idea is to stop bringing “dudes”, and make more space for women instead. Bringing local acts is important because Warsaw is taken hostage by tech house and big-room techno mafia, and none of the new acts are booked anymore, basically, in any of the clubs.
What is going on in Warsaw nowadays?
Mostly smog and aggressive re-privatization.
You make your parties at the Palace of Culture and Science. Could you tell us a bit more about this place?
It's the biggest and the most famous building in Warsaw, designed by Lev Rudnev, who's also the author of “Seven Sisters” in Moscow — they all basically look the same. There's a restaurant called Cafe Kulturalna in the building. We take all the tables out, set up a sound system, people bump into the DJ’s table, and it's too loud to yell at them — we always forget to prepare an appropriate notice.
You used to live in Berlin for a couple of years. How did you like it? And why did you decide to go back?
While working at a shop like Record Loft, one can meet plenty of friends who turn out to be amazing DJs. Moving back to Poland was an obvious move, because it still needs a push, and there's so much work left to be done. The “underground dance music industry” is pretty sickening, so in Warsaw it's better to stick to the punk attitude. That is, if one still has this option.
Why do you think there is such a hype around Berlin?
It's there because of its history and the multitude of scenes and communities that go far beyond the events in the techno scene. Berlin is rapidly changing and, in a way, it became a victim of its own fame. Some people can't stand it anymore, so they move out, but there's still a lot of inspiring currents within that city, so the hope isn’t lost.
Who are the most unnoticed, but still great local artists and musicians that you came across while doing the Brutaż parties?
Soon, we're releasing a compilation with Transatlantyk (a label run by Zambon) consisting of 9 debuts (Aheloy, Antonina Nowacka, Random Code and 1 9 9 2). Apart from those released, there's some people who are too shy or too weird to be mentioned. I'm talking about the Girls to The Front zine & parties, an oddball duo of Qmam and Czayę, Wounded Knife label (but it’s defunct now), an Italian DJ called FVO, a modular rhythmic ambient combo of Mirt and Ter, Mestiço crew and Martyna Bolanowska (who's also the best illustrator within the choo choo realm).
What is your favorite way to dig for new music?
Music stores, with no pants on, throwing records around and approaching random people to sing them the song of my people. My least favorite way is when there is one of those records which Vladimir Ivković played, and one realizes how much it costs.
Do you produce your own music, and where can we listen to it (your Soundcloud page is pretty minimalistic)?
Yes, we do. And no, I don’t. I’ve just opened that Soundcloud page and, in general, after all these years, I'm trying to figure out how to understand myself as a separate entity.
What are the upcoming releases on your label?
After Mchy i Porosty record, which is out now via Lobster Distribution and Side One, in two months Brutaż will release a record by Carlo Maria from a duo called Punctum; then a 2 LP compilation with Transatlantyk, dedicated solely to the debuting Polish artists; then some Polish EPs: Wiktor, known as Souvenir de Tanger/Dyktando, and AARPS from Katowice (the best live act around!); and, finally, a dance record by Silvia Kastel, who's also doing a non-dance LP on Blackest Ever Black. In addition, we’ve just got a spirit-crushing material by 34.10.3402 from Belgrade. We're hoping we'll be able to accomplish at least half of the plan. We need to release more records by women, there's simply not enough of them. We'll all go to hell for that.
What are your plans for 2017?
In a great new darkness, we will finally execute my special plan. And mums, mums are important.
Interviewed by Alexandra Zakharenko.