This album presents, for the first time on record (as hard as it is to believe), music recorded by the pioneering group Onomatopeja, founded in 1968 by guitarist Jan Olszak and brothers: Andrzej Mitan (vocals) and Piotr Mitan (bass and drums). Onomatopeja was years ahead of its contemporaries, with complex melodic themes and extraordinary vocal performances, which included modulation and other World Music motifs, operatic sonorities and avant-garde improvisations. Several other musicians cooperated with the group until it finally ceased to function in 1981. The group also cooperated with visual artist Cezary Staniszewski, who exhibited his paintings during the group´s performances, creating multi-media events.
This album consists of nine songs recorded live between 1975 and 1978. Eight of the songs were composed by Olszak and one by Andrzej Mitan. The lyrics to five of the songs were written by poet Jan Galkowski, one by poet Tadeusz Nowak and one is a Polish translation of a poem by Croatian poet Jure Franicevic-Plocar entitled "When A Man Dies". The remaining two songs are instrumentals. Sadly the entire duration of the album is only twenty four and a half minutes, which is hardly what a document about the group deserves to have. The accompanying booklet includes information about the group´s history and other relevant details, with are also fully translated into English. Many historic photographs are also a splendid addition to the booklet.
The fact that Onomatopeja never managed to record a full album during the time it existed is a sad characteristic of the Polish music scene during the Socialist regime, when the destinies of Artists were decided by incompetent State bureaucrats or political censorship. Non conformist and free thinking Artists had little chance to succeed, regardless of their true talents. This album manages, even if only partly, to pay a tribute to musicians, who placed their artistic truth before opportunism. For fans of Polish music, this album is an absolute must, not only because of its historic importance but principally since it uncovers a previously unknown piece of the puzzle, which has so much to offer.
Side Note: Andrzej Mitan was one of the Artists, who took part in my production of the now legendary album "The Book Of Job", which was recorded in 1985. His performance of the song "When A Man Dies" (see above), which was incorporated into our interpretation of the Biblical story, sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to the album. Needles to say we have been friends since then.