What Robert Piotrowicz does cannot exactly by labelled “fun”. Because of his career, prolific and extended, he could be considered one of the most notable artists of the latest crop of the experimental scene, an improvisation expert who has performed at avant-garde festivals, in museums and electro-acoustic music contests. He has collaborated with other talents such as Oren Ambarchi, Kevin Drumm and Carl Michael Von Hausswolff, and his discography already consists of eight volumes released on labels like Polycephal, Musica Genera, Phase!, Emd Records and Bocianrecords. He is a landmark for a minority and elite public, where a sense of humour is usually hard to find. But Piotrowicz has a soft spot for anything that makes him laugh, and to compensate for his highly intellectual body of work, he sent us his list of ten favourite songs and videos that, according to him, are pure entertainment. If you would like to know more about him, here’s a recommendation: this Sunday, 10th April, he’ll be performing live at the Abrons Arts Center in New York, as part of the Immersion night at the Unsound festival New York, alongside Lustmord and Void Ov Voices. 10 most entertaining songs and videos of now or ever
There is something unserious and serious in this list. There are a lot of different reasons I complied it this way. Part of this selection has a lot to common with kitsch or parody, part of it is just good music. Anyway, the order does not matter.
1. Das Racist: “Rainbow In The Dark”
You should be familiar with them, one of my top bands at the moment, this piece is just over the top. The DR guys have good sense of humor and the video is also very good. Basically I could put 4-5 songs from them on this list.
2. The Accused: “Pounding Nails (Into The Lid Of Your Coffin)”
This track is the opening cut on their album from 1990 and always has a big energy impact. One of best band of their time, showing how great use of guitar, bass, drums and voice leads you to the heavens (while your body rots in the ground) but that’s their opinion.
3. Army Of Lovers: “Crucified”This band includes king and queen, La Camilla. One of most incredible pop groups ever. Great sense of humour, especially in this piece. One of my dream solo performances would be to have La Camilla sitting down on big armchair at the side of my setup basically doing nothing.
4. Arvo Pärt: “Orient Occident”
I used to play this piece in loop, tens times louder in my studio, when I needed a break or just couldn't work. There's a lot of childhood echoes in this one, with big flashback of Sinbad The Sailor - mysterious and beautiful.
5. Franco Battiato: “Centro Di Gravità Permanente”
If you don’t know Franco you have lost something in your life, one of the most extraordinary pop geniuses, go on YouTube and see his incredible choreography. This song itself is an essence of 80’s in the best sense. His lyrics are just great, kind of very wise entertainment. You can have fun and still be very intelligent.
6. Beny Lava (Prabhu Deva): “Kalluri Vaanil”
Most of all this is about the video, which I think is very well known. When I saw it first time I could really believe it. Benny Lava is called the Indian Michael Jackson. I think Lava brings another quality to dance. Masses of dancers shaking on the hills or just in the fields, with incredible facial expressions. The music is also great. Strong and unforgettable.
7. Boy Crisis: “Dressed To Digress”
Very sexy one. Another piece that works well with the video. It's all about pop music in this one, very catchy, but with a lot of humour. Of course it is not too serious, their dance figures are awesome and lyrics hilarious. There's no need for anything else.
8. Papa Dance: “Nasz Ziemski Eden”
When a disco song starts with words like “you go somewhere into unknown, you will got taste of pain”, I couldn't avoid it and just had to follow. Papa Dance was crap Polish disco group from 80’s. Most of their songs are very good, full of kitsch and bizarreness. So if you “do not want to believe the prose of words”, you may love them.
9. Today Is The Day: “Sidewinder”
There's not so much to say about this one - it's just a powerful rock piece. Pure energy. No need for video and it can be played in loop, which I did a lot on tour, on trains, in stations, in airports.
10. Letni Hamski Podryw: “Czinklaczento”
I end the list with another Polish element. LHP is generally pastiche group which covers well known R&B or rap hits with their own lyrics. This one is focused on one of smallest cars in Europe - the Fiat Cinquecento, and car culture (sic!). Knowing Polish would help a lot, but the video is very funny and sweet anyway.
PlayGround is a media partner of Unsound
Unsound Festival New York takes place from 1 to 10 April, at various locations in New York. Tickets are on sale here. Unsound Festival New York is presented by Fundacja Tone, the Polish Cultural Institute in New York and the Goethe-Institut New York, in Cooperation With The Trust For Mutual Understanding, The Adam Mickiewicz Institute, City of Krakow, Krakow Festival Office and others.