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Skalpel are Marcin Cichy and Igor Pudlo, from Wroclaw, Poland. The pair are talented DJs, who have had five mixes aired on Ninja’s Solid Steel radio show over the last two years. Two of these sessions were also released as "Virtual Cuts", widely held to be the best mixtape in the history of electronic music in Poland.

The year 2000, though, was the landmark year for the group. Having interviewed DJ Vadim for a Polish hip hop magazine, the pair were soon discussing samples, obscure breaks and the Polish music scene with him. All of which led to a combined tour with Vadim’s Russian Percussion, at which they presented an amazing 4-deck show all over the country. Later that year Skalpel released a demo CD-R titled "Polish Jazz", which was not only heaped with plaudits in their native country, but also led to the duo signing a contract with Ninja Tune. not so much from Vadim’s prompting as due to the sheer quality of the music when it reached the top of the demo box!

For the last two years, then, Marcin and Igor have been digging in the crates, trying to build the most exciting collection of samples from Polish Jazz records. But their aim runs deeper than that of most sample-spotters. They want resurrect the spirit of 60s and 70s Polish jazz and then reimagine it for tomorrow.

“The Polish scene at the moment is very poor,” they say, in an observation that echoes here, too. “Nothing really interesting happens. The majority of music on TV and radio is kind of "World Idol". Very little individuality - just copies of American music.”

The first fruit of their efforts was the limited edition single, “Sculpture” which sold out on its release and caused a huge stir in their home country, leading to a nomination for the"Paszport Polityki," the most prestigious culture award in the country. Now it’s time for them to start reaping the plaudits further from home.

Photo Credit: Filip Zawada


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