Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Nylon Union - Slovak indie band defies blah trends

THEY mix live guitars, rocking bass and drums with electronic samples. Their English lyrics evoke melancholy. Their inspirations are as diverse as the Beatles and experimental guitar riffs from the 1990s. They're called Nylon Union - a trio involving a doctor, a designer and a trumpet student - and they offer an indie rock alternative to the Slovak pop mainstream.
"We create moments when we play like one organism," says Richard Imrich, the doctor of the trio. "Nothing more and nothing less."
The band comes to rock the underground Subterra club in the western Slovak town Nitra on February 26. Their 40-minute concert will include a handful of straight-ahead songs mixed with 'sound collages'. Later that evening, 'DJ Professor Zaplátaný' will spin old records played during communism, while 'DJ Sublue' will mix ambient and experimental music.


Richard Imrich (front) and Martin Turzik, the brains behind Nylon Union and Deadred Records.
photo: Courtesy of Nylon Union

THEY mix live guitars, rocking bass and drums with electronic samples. Their English lyrics evoke melancholy. Their inspirations are as diverse as the Beatles and experimental guitar riffs from the 1990s. They're called Nylon Union - a trio involving a doctor, a designer and a trumpet student - and they offer an indie rock alternative to the Slovak pop mainstream.

"We create moments when we play like one organism," says Richard Imrich, the doctor of the trio. "Nothing more and nothing less."

The band comes to rock the underground Subterra club in the western Slovak town Nitra on February 26. Their 40-minute concert will include a handful of straight-ahead songs mixed with 'sound collages'. Later that evening, 'DJ Professor Zaplátaný' will spin old records played during communism, while 'DJ Sublue' will mix ambient and experimental music.

Nylon Union was formed in April 2000, when bass player Martin Turzik from the rock band Champ teamed up with guitarist Richard Imrich from This is Kevin, a mixing samples band. Later they were joined by drummer Matúš Homola (the trumpet student).

In the same year, Turzik and Imrich also launched the independent label Deadred Records. While Imrich seeks contacts and manages sales, Turzik's task is the technical side of the business. Calling themselves "a team of enthusiasts diving in head first", their aim is produce non-commercial, progressive music which falls below the radar of the media and larger recording houses.

"We try to make the Slovak music scene a little different," says Turzik. "In Slovakia pop has always dominated. But times have changed. New possibilities for making music have arrived with the spread of computers and the Internet. The new generation listens to a larger spectrum of music.


Nylon Union's first project.
photo: Courtesy of Nylon Union

"On the other hand, large international record companies won't risk issuing non-commercial CDs of electronic, club, dance or experimental music. Naturally, they sell a lot of garbage along with a few quality acts. Slovakia is no exception."

Deadred Records consists literally of a table, a few phones and a computer with Internet access. Its business address is Turzik's flat, and the firm claims an interest in all new and progressive music in Slovakia, particularly bands that use electronic samples. They frown on techno and house recordings.

"Our initial reason for starting the Deadred label was to issue Nylon Union's Oxeyed record," says Turzik. Thanks to the non-profit on-line group Tamizdat, the EP has already broken into the American music market through Southern Records.

"Later we decided that once in a while, when we had the money, we could issue something interesting to the world from Slovakia."

Deadred is not the first independent label in the country, but it is the most successful. In the past decade two independent attempts - Zoon Records and GA agency - have bitten the dust.

"The techno and house scene is in a better situation over here," says Imrich. "Techno recordings sell well in Slovakia and in western Europe. But we're into alternative electronic cross-over, we're into something else."

Money has always been and continues to be a problem for Deadred, Turzik says. They financed the Oxeyed album out of their own pockets. Another project, a CD for the cultural magazine Vlna (Wave) compiling 13 electronic and acoustic recordings by local bands (names like Frogski Pop, Puding pani Elvisovej and Handbag), was partly financed by the magazine.

"Independent labels have it tough here because of the small market and bad economic situation," says Turzik. "People don't have the money to buy CDs, and it's also very expensive to release them. That's why we want to provide music from Slovakia to other markets.

"Slovak music is interesting."

Turzik and Imrich laugh as they imagine Deadred selling a million copies world-wide and becoming internationally known. But they say their plans to take Nylon Union across Slovak borders are no joke.

"We're shooting to play in Hungary or Poland because the club scene there is stronger and it's still quite close," Turzik said.

What: Nylon Union - concert
Where: Subterra, Ulica 7. Pešieho pluku, Nitra (underground the Staré divadlo, near Nitra's Tesco supermarket)
When: February 26 at 20:00
Tickets: Sk50-80.
Tel: 0907/981-454.
For more information on Nylon Union go to www.nylonunion.sk and on Deadred Records to www.deadred.sk

Top stories

Námestie Slobody gets facelift Photo

The architectural tender will gather ideas for the redesign of the biggest square in Bratislava

Námestie Slobody will be redesigned into a kind of living room in the city.

When the state can’t keep a secret

A selective leak has tarnished President Kiska’s reputation. But he must continue to speak out about corruption.

President Andrej Kiska

Fundamental values explored at Divadelná Nitra 2017

This time round, the Slovak, European and US ensembles at the theatre festival focus on #fundamentals, i.e. basic values and the essence of all things.

Nature Theatre of Oklahoma: Pursuit of Happiness

Foreign rocket engines for North Korea: Why?

For Russia, the path to a weakened China could be through a major nuclear accident in North Korea.