Čechomor brings "rockier" folk music on its new CD

THE CZECH band known as Čechomor, popular in Slovakia, plays a “rockier” version of traditional Czech folk music, especially Moravian songs. The group performed at Bratislava’s new theatre-music club, Ateliér Babylon, on June 10 and offered a debut performance of cuts from their first new CD in six years (except for a live recording), titled Místečko.

Baptising thenewalbum with a puff of ash.Baptising thenewalbum with a puff of ash. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

THE CZECH band known as Čechomor, popular in Slovakia, plays a “rockier” version of traditional Czech folk music, especially Moravian songs. The group performed at Bratislava’s new theatre-music club, Ateliér Babylon, on June 10 and offered a debut performance of cuts from their first new CD in six years (except for a live recording), titled Místečko.

Čechomor is known for adapting and remaking traditional folk tunes, sometimes winding up with a form that is hardly recognisable. Musically well-versed, the band often works with other foreign and local musicians. They invited Gerry Leonard not only to produce their new CD but also to participate in the studio recording. Another guest musician on the CD is Tony Levin who played with Peter Gabriel, the TASR newswire wrote, but for their recent Bratislava concert the band performed sans guests.

The title song, Místečko, was adapted by Slovak musician Ivan Tásler from a song about “the last resting place for everybody” – the grave. The song is not sad or morbid but rather quite funny and kind, TASR wrote. The CD has 13 cuts that present the new, tougher and defter sound of the band.

“A swingy and coarser sound was our goal and it is the logical result of our effort to change the perception of our music. The song Místečko has already found its place on the radio and its popularity has confirmed that we have chosen the right direction,” Karel Holas, the band’s violinist and singer, told the SITA newswire.

At their crowded concert at Ateliér Babylon, Čechomor played cuts from its new CD, including the debut of Místečko as well as its older tunes which were warmly welcomed by connoisseurs and fans. They also played some folk instruments. Holas joked that the band usually premieres its songs and CDs in Brno but this time they moved eastwards to launch their CD and “baptise” it in this symbolic ritual used for both musical works and books. To evoke the atmosphere of the title song, Místečko was baptised with ashes from an urn. The band hopes that its current CD will find favour even with those who do not know the Czech language or its Moravian dialect used in most songs.


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