In the first half of the 1980s, there was virtually an explosion of rock music in Poland. A good deal of artists were triumphant, made records and attracted crowds to concert halls, while others had not even got a slightest chance to record their single, even if they took such fairy tale names such as Lepszy Spokojny Dzień (Better, Calm Day). Or LSD in short.
This band came to life in the Tri-City, in 1980, and until the introduction of martial law operated as an instrumental sextet which gained major recognition at Jarocin Festival and at Pop Session in 1981. Early 1982 the group was reactivated with a reduced line-up consisting of Paweł Matych (voc, synth), Piotr Szerszeń (guitar), Dariusz Niemcewicz (bass) and Maciej Próchnicki (drums). They offered an unusual combination of progressive rock and new wave. The music recorded in 1982-83 at the studio of Szczecin Radio managed to draw attention of the Polton label but the album had never been released as the group had already disbanded. Many years have passed and now the recordings are finally issued on the album Niebezpieczna Wyspa (Dangerous Island). All 10 tracks on Niebezpieczna Wyspa album have been released for the first time, remastered from the original tapes and kept at the archives of the Polish Radio in Szczecin.Here you will find some quite riveting songs with lyrics by Wojciech Fułek (Ludzki Targ, Znów Ten Sam or “Fałszywy Krok”, known from the Polish Radio Three Charts, and multi-motive instrumental works such as Wdłuż Szyn, Zepsute Zabawki or the title track. It has to be said that those instrumental pieces of music are the best tracks on this album release. Mainly because the vocal parts of Paweł Matych are not really strong. But they will do for the listener. On the other hand his keyboard sounds provided on keyboards such as Korg Monopoly, Roland Jupiter 4 and Arp Solina String Ensemble are rather tasteful. However it's not easy to pigeonhole the music which is offered on Niebezpieczna Wyspa. Sometimes we hear progressive rock traces of early Marillion, but other times new wave comes to the surface as well and reminds me of a band such as The Stranglers.
The booklet presents the lyrics and the history of the band, both written in the Polish language unfortunately. But we can also enjoy mostly unpublished photos.
All in all this isn't a bad release and certainly worth a listen. Even more when you know that the original recording was done in a radio recording studio. This can hardly be heard and therefore the audio is rather good on this 40 minutes long debut album. What happened to the musicians after the break-up of the band is a mystery for me. Maybe it was written in the booklet. But I still wonder what would have been released if they had stayed together for a couple of years. Maybe more albums in the style of Niebezpieczna Wyspa? I certainly would have loved that!
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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