A Coldwave Journey through Poland

We did it again! After the great experiences we made last year while making a music-anthropological film about dark alternative music in northern Italy, where we met and hung out with ten bands in Bologna, Ravenna, Parma and Gradara, we decided to do a similar film in a different country. Since I am intrigued by Poland, her language and her music, it was not an all too hard decision to make.

In April 2017 I contacted several bands, some replied, some did not, and I was surprised how quickly we could organise a schedule together, set for late July. Eight bands in five different cities. As you know, Poland is quite a large country and we prepared for a really intensive road-trip.

The weeks before our departure I intensively studied the music and the biographies of the bands we were about to meet. One of the most interesting things about Polish dark alternative music is that it developed an own blend of post-punk during the 1980s, called zimna fala (‘cold wave’). Zimna fala was not simply a music style, but a protest movement by young people that evolved through regime criticism of the socialist regime and the Cold War. The main platform for this movement was the legendary annually held festival in Jarocin.

After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 zimna fala declined, although some of the bands continued to make music, others re-united later. Of course, zimna fala had its impact on the dark alternative scene in Poland. Nowadays there are a couple of newer bands around which are strongly influenced by zimna fala.

We had the luck to meet representatives of three legendary first generation zimna fala bands and a couple of newer bands. The recordings we made of them were talks rather than interviews. Nothing was scripted. Sometimes I asked questions in-between, but also these were situational. As a music-anthropologist I am mainly interested in the people behind the music. The selection of bands from two generations gave us a good over-view of how it was in the 80s and 90s, and how it is now.

Politics are messed up again. Isn’t that the right time for a new coldwave?

And here it is: the documentary in full lenght and for free!

About André Savetier

Since 2011 André Savetier is actively working as a music journalist with an expertise on contemporary new wave music phenomena.
His scientific specialization is anthropology of music and anthropology of popular culture. Savetier remains intrigued by the interplay between the aforementioned social phenomena, the told (and untold) legends of music and its roots.

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