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2011 in Czech music and culture

2011 in Czech music and culture The end of the year is traditionally filled with endless lists. An easy exercise for the journalists, writers and movers and shakers of the music industry. In the past top ten polls tended to coalesce into a generally acceptable selection. Recently, however (luckily) such lists have diversified. Here are the impressions of 2011 from some of those who are involved in the music and arts scenes in the Czech Republic right now.

1. What have been the highlights of this year?
2. Lows of the year?
3. Best Czech music project/band of the year?
4. Best concert/party of the year in the Czech Republic?
5. Best music activity, album of the year – Czech and abroad?
6. Best cultural activity or project in the Czech Republic this year?
7. Expectations from the New Year in music and culture in the Czech Republic?

Tuco – DJ, label owner

It’s been a pretty quiet year for me on the DJ side because I’ve had other priorities this year so I can’t say there was any really amazing life changing gigs or anything like that. Diplo coming to Prague finally was cool although he showed he was past his best. Playing juke tracks before Caspa to a full Roxy was also great.

The main thing is seeing the label blossom and all the good press the artists have been getting, releasing a Traxman EP was great as we have been fans of his for years!

I was really disappointed at the total lack of interest in Prague in great up and coming artists who came to play here such as Lone, Warrior One, Mele, Ramadanman and Brenmar all of whom have seen their careers rocket in the final few months of the year. Lack of local interest in these kinds of artists is going to have a knock effect and I can’t see promoters not taking these kind of risks in the future.

Is it wrong to mention all the people on Meanbucket? ? Obviously Side9000, Dryman and Tvyks but I’ve heard good stuff from Felix! Trusty, Freezer, Cuffia. These people stand out, they have their own sound and aren’t just trying to replicate certain English, French and American artists they hear which in all honesty tends to be the case here!

Again, it was pretty hectic year for me outside of music so I wasn’t out much unless it was DJ’ing bar a few exceptions. Primal Scream were amazing and it was great to hear all the old Screamadelica. Odd Future were cool and it’s really rare to see a Hip hop group here who are at their peak! There were some really great DJ sets as well from the people I mentioned above. I think Brenmar was probably the top for me!

I really liked the LP’s from L -Vis 1990, The Weeknd & Araab Muzik. Everything Jamie XX did was brilliant, Addison Groove also had a great year. Joy O had one of the biggest tracks of the year with ‘Sicko Cell’, I can’t remember that much hype surrounding one song for a long time!

Joy O – Sicko Cell (Vinyl) [Swamp 81] by frankyboy

Of course there was a lot of stuff from obscure ghetto producers that I was really into I wont mention them all but DJ Sliink has had an amazing year, Boylan is consistent and Rashad & Spinn are probably as close to becoming household names as anyone from the juke & footwerk scene will ever become.

I really like what UK producers Swindle, Rude Kid, Royal Tand Dismantle have been doing. That new wave of instrumental grime has saved me a lot at parties where people expected dubstep. It has the same energy and tempo but the production is more interesting, it’s raw and it’s good!

As far as Czech stuff goes apart from the stuff we released I didn’t here many “complete works” except for a couple of great EP’s from Felix! and Cuffia.

Freeze Festival looks really interesting, and the people doing the Education Parties seem to know what they are doing.

I’m hoping now Rytmus is rapping over dubstep people will move on. In other places some really interesting stuff has risen from it’s ashes.

Internationally I’m really excited about Sinjin Hawke who is doing really good stuff on a great little label from Brussels called Pelican Fly (definitely a label to watch in 2012). I also think Mele is going to be huge next year; he’s young and has the talent and attitude to do great things.

Sinjin Hawke – The Lights EP [FLY005] TRAILER by pelicanfly

I would love to finally see a really good festival line up here, in fact it doesn’t have to be really good just acceptable! I’d love to see some good DJ’s or electronic acts incorporated into the line-ups like at other big European festivals, you only have to look as far as Slovakia and see that with Pohoda Fest they are at least trying.

I’d love to see some older people going out to parties and I’d love it if we could go the whole of 2012 without a Kosheen concert, but I know these are pretty far fetched dreams ?

Míra Valeš – editor
Comrade Magazine

Fleet Foxes and their new record Helplessness Blues (Garfunkel meets Beach Boys:) or Destroyer – Daniel Bejar and his Kaputt. Pulp, M.I.A., Braids and Esben and the Witch and the great weather at the Pohoda Festival in Slovakia was a highlight. Also, there have been many great gigs in autumn and it seems like there’s been increasing activity in Prague in the arts& culture scenes;)

It’s also great to see that the Creepy Teepee festival could take place again and that the organizers didn’t lose money but broke even. I’m glad that even such a small festival as Mezipatra managed to bring Todd Haynes to Prague, a bigger star than has been lately the case even at the Karlovy Vary film festival, proving that when you have the courage and will, anything is possible ?

Nothing really other than missing the Melt Festival.

I haven’t seen enough to be able to judge.

I like Dominik and Roman and their project Table.


In the Czech Republic it has to be Creepy Teepee and the people who make things happen here – Jakub and Anežka Hošek and Michal Brenner.

Next year will be great.

Martin ?ehá?ek and Dan Ligocký – promoters
Education Parties

The courage and effort of people who persistently feel the need to change and advance the Czech cultural scene, thanks to whom we’ve had quite a lot of interesting events this year.

Reluctance to try the new and unknown. But that’s normal really… Maybe the impasse of the local media which isn’t able to appreciate or draw attention to anything inspirational.

dné, Table, Fiordmoss, Floex.

Cardboard and Bubble Sheet (single) by dné

The National at Divadlo Archa.

The Unsound Festival in Poland which is our inspiration. And the many singles and records that came out this year. It’s hard to choose the best though.

…hard to say.

Probably similar to 2011. We don’t expect any major changes because cultural development tends to generally be quite slow, so we remain soberly optimistic. It’s also true that several interesting events have already been announced for 2012 and we hope that a Czech “artist” will break through abroad.

Published December 28, 2011.