Lech Janerka, Ammar 808 and Afenginn & Bastarda join the line-up for East of Culture – Different Sounds 2018!

Lech Janerka, an icon and one of the most mysterious and original names in Polish music; powerful, electronic beat boldly fused with North African folk performed by Ammar 808 and a special, debuting Polish-Danish project – Afenginn & Bastarda are the next attractions for the upcoming East of Culture – Different Sounds.

The turbulent history of Polish alternative music features a number of unique artists, bands and legendary figures. This list needs to make a special spot for Lech Janerka, an artist who has been consciously and frequently uncompromisingly following his own musical path from the start – both as the front man of the band Klaus Mitffoch and in his solo career. At the concert in Lublin we will hear a mix of the biggest hits from various periods of his activity, but we will also hear unique tracks which are rarely performed live.

The list of the previously announced group of performers associated with Glitterbeat Records (Dirtmusic, Baba Zula and Ifriqiyya Electrique) is now expanding to include another performer – Ammar 808, deeply embedded in North African traditions. Modern electronic sounds dominated by low, powerful bass and dynamic backgrounds fuse seamlessly with vocal and instrumental traditions of Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco under the common banner Maghreb United (the title of the band’s newest album) that refers to the shared history, heritage and culture of this extraordinary corner of the world.

An important event at the festival will also be the debut performance of a Polish-Danish collective Afenginn & Bastarda, a musical meeting between the Copenhagen-based Afenginn and the Warsaw-based trio Bastarda associated with the label Lado ABC. Bastarda consists of three first-rate Polish instrumentalists: Paweł Szamburski, Michał Górczyński and Tomasz Pokrzywiński, all skilled in jazz, popular music and classical compositions alike. In turn, Afenginn are considered to be Denmark’s leading representatives of neo folk, drawing on Scandinavian tradition, Balkan sounds as well as rock or classical music, thus creating modern reinterpretations of traditional tunes and their own language of expression. The band have fairly quickly acquired cult status in the Scandinavian market, which later translated into their popularity not only in other European countries but also in North America. Afenginn have performed, among others, at the most famous Danish festival Rockslide and SXSW in Texas – the largest event combining business, technology and music.
More announcements of the many acts to perform at the turn of June and July in Lublin are coming soon. Like every year, East of Culture – Different Sounds will provide a diverse and original programme which crosses musical boundaries.

East of Culture is a cultural project integrating artists from cities in eastern Poland (Bialystok, Lublin and Rzeszow) and artists from Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine). It is carried out by the National Centre for Culture and the three Polish cities. The project aims at presenting and helping discover the unique aspects of each culture as well as at facilitating the sharing of artistic experiences. Over time, the festival has become a bridge connecting our Eastern partners with the broader European culture. In 2018, East of Culture takes place for the 6th time. The project has been made possible thanks to the involvement of creative groups and local governments of Eastern Poland and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.


Lech Janerka – one of the most important figures in Polish alternative music of the last 40 years. A vocalist, bassist and lyricist. In 1979, he set up the legendary band Klaus Mitffoch. In the 1980s they recorded an album under the same title. The album featured some of the most significant songs in the history of Polish rock music, such as “Ewolucja, rewolucja i ja” or “Strzeż się tych miejsc”, and nowadays many critics believe that Janerka’s visionary new wave project was ahead of its time. After leaving the band, the artist focused on his solo career and under his own name released another breakthrough album – the famous “Historia podwodna”. It brought even more hits, including “Konstytucja”, “Ta zabawa nie jest dla dziewczynek” or “Niewola”. On top of that, it involved a lot of exploration of sounds and form and the characteristic sound of the cellos that Bożena Janerka continues to play until today. Aside from Lech and Bożena Janerka, the band’s line-up at the time included the guitarist Krzysztof Pociecha and the drummer Janusz Rołt, known from such projects as Brygada Kryzys or Armia. Over time, Lecha Janerka recorded more original albums, gathering a number of awards along the way, including the “Fryderyk” award for the album “Fiu fiu” or the song of the year award for “Rower”. His return to Lublin will be an excellent opportunity for both older fans and younger audiences of Different Sounds to hear a legend live.

Ammar 808 the pseudonym of Sofyann Ben Youssef, a Tunisian-born artist, producer and DJ. He was the driving force behind this unique project and the entire concept of Maghreb United. The album under this title is the band’s newest piece, released by none other but Glitterbeat Records and it gathers musicians from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, in other words a region historically and culturally referred to as Maghreb. Their music results from the style represented by Ammar 808, namely heavy electronic sounds combined with a big dose of powerful bass and fast, dynamic beat as well as vocal and instrumental traditions of North Africa. Contemporary music in combination with folk songs and instruments give a very interesting effect and familiarize the listeners with the art and traditions of this extraordinary region in an innovative way.

Afenginn & Bastarda
– Nowadays, this Copenhagen-based band is one of the most interesting Scandinavian bands fusing folk, rock and classical music (i.e. through frequent references to baroque music). For years, Afenginn have been successfully giving concerts all over Denmark. They have been, among others, the stars of the largest festival in the country- the famous Rockslide. Outside their country, the musicians have made it big, among others, at special concerts in New York or in Austin at SXSW. Their most recent concept album, “Opus”, is a chamber pop opera fusing all elements characteristic for the band, ranging from classical music to more popular sounds. In Lublin, the Danes will present a debut project in collaboration with the Polish trio Bastarda which is one of the special productions of this year’s East of Culture – Different Sounds.
Bastarda – their album, released by Lado ABC was considered one of the most interesting music events of 2017 by the majority of Polish music industry. The trio, consisting of Paweł Szamburski, Michał Górczyński and Tomasz Pokrzywiński surprised many by reaching for medieval music composed by the slightly forgotten Piotr Wilhelmi from Grudziąc. The works of this 15th century composer were the point of departure for Bastarda and their album “Promitat Eterno” which is largely based on the sounds of clarinets and cellos. The album features a guest appearance by the pianist Marcin Masecki and on the whole is a very original and fresh addition to the genre. For East of Culture – Different Sounds, Bastarda is joining forces with the large Danish band Afenginn. As a result, on stage we will get a very impressive instrument set and over 10-strong orchestra. This collaborative project will be one of the debuts of this year’s festival.