Welcome to Poland: Another country in the midst of fearful flux; where a huge proportion of the country feel their voice is no longer represented by the government; where raw emotions are being exploited cheaply by media to distract, divert and crudely divide; where there is more of a need than ever for like-minded positive souls to unite without prejudice and work together for a better future.
The headlines sound too familiar for many of us in the world. But just as Trump does not represent most people in America and Brexit doesn’t define everyone in Britain, Poland’s right wing government does not exemplify the majority of Polish people. Like all world citizens, our generation and younger are good-minded, thoughtful people who do want to bring down barriers and work together. Their vision is one of inclusion and one of a proud future and how we can improve the lives of our children and grandchildren… Not become entangled in embittered roots of the past.
It’s evident in Poland’s thriving creative cultures from the provocative art of Katarzyna Kozyra to the literature and poetry and films of Wojciech Kuczok. It’s evident in the stark optimist architecture of Daniel Libeskind. It’s evident in Krakow’s thriving club scene and the country’s bubbling pools of electronic music talent. It’s everything Catz N Dogz do: their attitude, their music, their labels, their WOODED festival and, perhaps most importantly, their friends.
Not just there to carry you home; friends carry you everywhere. And right here on ‘Friends Of Pets’ Catz N Dogz are carrying their companions’ creativity with the same esteem and pride they host their Polish festival. A cultural statement and powerful showcase of their country’s great thinkers, creators, collaborators and disrupters in electronic music, across 16 tracks – almost all of which is homegrown – we’re treated to the full spectrum. Ranging from blissful smoky beat soul to mischievous relentless rolling techno and all shades of house in between, it’s one of Pets’ most heartfelt homage to realness, togetherness and strength against adversity. Exist to resist but persist to rewind; these are the real Polish headlines and here are the amazing stories of the beautiful, kind and creative people behind them…
SELTRON 400: AKA Eltron John and SLG’s latest project. Eltron is an incredibly eclectic DJ who’s renowned throughout Krakow’s best clubs while SLG is a dear friend of the label and kindred spirit with Catz N Dogz, breaking through around the same time in the early 2000s. Together their SELTRON 400 project shatters the walls between all shades of rave, galvanising them for the future with timeless analog machine weight. SLG also appears on the collection under his real name Lukasz Seliga with a remix of Swedish soulmate Kornél Kovács.
Kuba Sojka: An award-winning Katowice institution with a spotless body of work on labels such as Minimalsoul, Dogmatik, Mathematics and many more. Not just a prolific and innovative producer, he also invests large amounts of his time teaching audio production to young producers, ensuring the craft is kept alive for generations to come.
An On Bast: So dedicated to her sound and her craft, An On Bast takes an entire modular system to clubs and festivals. Her enthusiasm, knowledge and passion was best experienced at the Wooded Festivals where she held workshops with kids and produced music with them, showing parents how creative and accessible an artform it truly is.
Adam Port: Born in Poland, based in Berlin, Adam Port needs no introduction. One of the most consistent and innovative names in the game with releases across the board from Freerange to Souvenir via his main home Keinemusik, arguably one the most influential European labels at the moment.
Jacek Sienkiewicz: The Godfather! Jacek was the first ever Polish techno producer to sign to a big label and is regarded as one of the most inspiring homegrown talents for all DJs and producers. His early Cocoon releases are regarded as gamechangers and he remains true to his timeless craft. ‘Case Filter’ is a fine example; previously released on WMF in 2002, it still sounds resonant and relevant 15 years later. A personal favourite at the Pets HQ.
Michal Zietara: Polish born, Berlin-based Michal is a key part of the Pets family as he runs the label’s monthly PETCAST parties in Berlin. Also resident DJ in Salon Zur Wilden Renate club in Berlin and responsible for some really exciting productions in the future, he’s one of the happiest and creative people the label is proud to work with.
Earth Trax: AKA Bartosz Kruczyński who’s perhaps most famously known as Ptaki alongside Jaromir Kamiński. Together they created ‘Przelot’, one of the best electronic Polish albums ever made that’s guaranteed to stand the test of time. As a solo artist Earth Trax also has a great body of work as The Phantom, has been recommended as part of Thump’s top 100 records of 2016 and has a whole stack of releases planned on labels such as Phonica Records and many more.
Adam Brocki: A man of many faces. Attracting Pets attention through his work on Polish label Technosoul (as Private Press) he also operates under the names Newborn Jnr and Matat Professionals. Trust us, Adam is on the very cutting edge of house and techno… We’re guaranteed to hear more of him in the future.
The Analog Roland Orchestra: Polish-born Michal is a walking orchestra. Conjuring magic on his collection of rare Roland synths, he’s worked with many acts on many stages. His passion for Roland has been so strong he’s channelled it into a book: R For Roland, a compendium of beautifully photographed Roland synths, histories and stories. With releases on Pokerflat, STEP and Rotary Cocktail Rec, he’s a super sharp producer, too.
Das Komplex: Hailing from the north of Poland, he’s delivered two majestic creations on the album: the hazy dubby delight of ‘Shadows’ and a juicy-funk, disco-tinged twist of Till Von Sein & Aera. Some of his records sell out in a matter of days and it’s not hard to hear why… His sound is so special that you know it’s his record just within a few bars.
Universo: Also known as Kixnare who’s renowned for hip-hop breaks and a series of killer beat albums on U Know Me Records. Now exploring the technoid unknown with deeply layered 4/4 dancefloor soul as Universo, it’s a whole new chapter that resonates deeply with Pets’ core.
Jackname Trouble & Mese: Jacek Tworkowski and Marcin Sojka respectively. Two beatmaking friends with established solo reputations jamming for the love of it. This is the first fruit to come from their fusion. There’s more to come…
Karol Aleksander: Since winning a contest to play at Wooded 2015, Karol’s carved an incredible path as an affiliate at The Very Polish Cut Outs label and Whiskey Disco. With a cool, hazy funk and sunset soul sound, Karol’s the perfect player to bring the collection to a slow and sexy close.
Dig deep and share the knowledge: Each of these friends has their own story to tell and their own sound to share. This is the real Poland. This is the real Pets. This is real electronic music. We can only be stronger by working together, globally, nationally, friendly…
PETS Recordings – run by the polish production duo Catz ’n Dogz – is a label with vinyl & digital releases, a PETCAST
podcast series, label nights, as well as the Wooded microfestival. Their catalog showcases a bass-heavy brand of house music that is sometimes colourful, sometimes deep, but always works wonders on the dancefloor....more