Eastern Express – Music under special surveillance
„Music under special surveillance” – a meeting devoted to the Czech independent music scene
Participants: Vladimir Drapal (Guerilla Records), the musicians of Plastic People of the Universe and DG 307
Moderators: Rafał Księżyk, Aleksander Kaczorowski
„The aim of the underground in the West is to simply destroy the system. The aim of the underground here is to simply create another, alternative culture” – writes the main ideologist of the scene and the manager of Plastic People, Ivan Martin „Magor” Jirous in his famous manifesto „Report on the third musical revival in the Czech Republic”. He described the movement as a „community of mutual rescue” and compared it to the first wandering Hussites. The community, although focused on the far margin, around a handful of pubs and country houses, has managed to give rise to a true phenomenon of cultural life of the entire Eastern Block. Rebel rock musicians, hippie freaks, young adventurers and prominent artists and intellectuals critical of the political system (such as the poet Egon Bondy, or the later president of the Czech Republic, dramatist Vaclav Havel, who actively supported Plastic People and DG 307 in the 70s) mixed and exchanged ideas and inspirations within the movement.
A discussion on the history and the present of the Czech underground will be held by the musicians of Plastic People and DG 307, the head of the Guerilla Records - Vladimír „Lábus” Drápal and two Polish journalists – Aleksander Kaczorowski and Rafał Księżyk.
Rafał Księżyk (born in 1970) – a journalist and a music critic. Since the early 90s he has been a part of the emerging new music and pop culture press. The co-author of Tomasz Stańko’s autobiography „Desperado” (2010), Robert Brylewski’s „Kryzys w Babilonie” (2012) and Tymon Tymański’s ADHD (2013). The author of the essay „23 cięcia dla Williama S. Burroughsa” (2013). He is the editor-in-chief of the magazine „Playboy”. He wrote about music in e.g. „Brum”, „Machina” and „Jazz Forum”.
Aleksander Kaczorowski - he studied sociology at the Institute of Sociology of the Warsaw University and Slavic studies at the Institute of Slavic Studies of WU (completed in 1998). He published a collection of essays „Praski elementarz” ["The Prague primer"] (Czarne 2001) and translations of books by Bohumil Hrabal (including „The Gentle Barbarian”, 1997), Josef Škvorecký and Egon Bondy. He worked in Gazeta Wyborcza. He was the deputy editor of Newsweek Poland. He worked in Forum, also as the deputy editor. However, he returned to Newsweek Poland as one of the deputies of the editor-in-chief. He published the book „Praskie Łowy” ["The Prague Hunt"] (Świat Książki).
Vladimir „Labus” Drapal – the founder and creator of the cult label „Guerilla Records.” A notable figure on the Chech independent scene. A distinguished archivist, scholar and promoter of alternative music and art. In his label he publishes both new albums of the most interesting Czech bands, as well as re-editions of the cult albums by the Plastic People of the Universe, DG 307 and Pulnoc. He also specializes in recovering and restoring lost recordings and concerts. Vladimir Drapal is a valuable source of information on the Czech counterculture and underground scene of the last 50 years.