Home » Eastern Europe » CHADIMA, MIKOLAS: The MCH Band 1982-1989 Box Set (6 CDs and 40pp booklet)
CHADIMA, MIKOLAS: The MCH Band 1982-1989 Box Set (6 CDs and 40pp booklet)
An important figure in the Czech underground and the history of experimental rock, with a music cast in the quintessentially Czech style: strong, full of ideas, mature and intelligent. The box collects Chadima's work through the difficult '80s - when you had to be pretty serious to take your chances with a paranoiac and unpredictable state apparatus. While the Plastic People were celebrated in the world outside, and spurred on the declaration of Charter 77, they were in fact just part of a wider movement whose actors remain largely unknown outside Czecoslovakia where, for two decades, making 'anti-social' music would ensure that you didn't get a licence to perform - making public, paid concerts next to impossible. And to persist was to court arrest - so the music went underground, played at secret locations and under assumed names; recorded in basements or unofficial concerts and released in Samizdat tape editions. These 6 CDs, re-mastered from the original tapes, give some sense of the life of this Czech counterculture, and of the quality and professionalism of the work they produced under such severely antagonistic conditions. The first CD set alongside the later I984WELL - a 40 minute, single, abstract work - mark the extremes encompassed here: from insistent rock to explosions and dark, abstract atmospheres. A lot of fine musicians went through these various MCH ensembles whose line ups all featured bass, guitar and drums, with most of them adding various horns and lo-tech electronics. Not be to everyone's taste, perhaps, but these CDs are important historical documents and they do go a little way toward setting the record straight about what was going on musically in Eastern Europe - which was quite as innovative as anywhere outside. Most of this material has not been readily accessible until now and is not available in any other form. For those intrigued but not ready to spend try Chadima's Pseudodemocritus first. In a black box with a very informative 40pp booklet.