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cd cover Berklejdy
Muzuka Naskuchana (Overheard Music)


Berklejdy's music is centered around the playing of Andrej Zajko, a cimbalom (hammer dulcimer) artist of considerable talent. But the band is as expansive as any of the new roots/new routes bands of Europe, with a wide range of folk instruments as well as the requisite guitars/drums/bass backing. They borrow from everywhewre: from their own Polish folk roots, from jamaica and Trinidad, from American and British folk-pop, yet manage to sound completely original. Poland: it ain't just polkas!

"...they leave no doubts about where they are heading from the very first track, a sound that crawls out of the speakers with a raw, primitive wooden horn and then explodes into a slow groove reggae number with a fat bass and drum kit, punctuated by electric guitar and accordion. "Monopolka" also highlights this strange propensity to use an island groove in a lighter, melodic way. They mix it up with Arabic and Indian percussion tacked to a waltz, or just play with sounds and lovingly parody their own traditions. They offer a "Polkalypso" that is part dance tune, part surfer set, with a steel pan in tandem with the cymbalom. This is folk rock in the grandest tradition, played with verve and joy." - CF (RootsWorld)

"Berklejdy are Polish, and you know what we've said before about the accumulating evidence of some great minds at work in Polish roots music. They're young, and one of their stars the music seems to be mostly centred around his instrument is 20-year old cymbaly (hammered dulcimer) player Andrzej Zajko, taught by his grandfather from the age of 5. Add to that a raunchy electric guitarist, a drummer with reggae background, bass, a percussionist (Arab instruments a speciality) who doubles saz, tanpura and steel drums, and an accordeonist who grew up in Kazachstan... well, you get my drift. Basically, they play an inventive take on Polish dance music from the North of the country polkas, waltzes etc but in a way that is maybe related to how the early Edward 2 (or, dare I say it, Tiger Moth when Chris Coe was at the dulcimer table) handled English dance tunes. In fact, the current wave of young English players ought to like it a lot, be inspired even. It's ramshackle, but it sounds like a proper, working band recorded live in the studio without too many takes, which is part of the great charm."- Ian Anderson, fROOTS

About the band:
The band plays mostly folk motives from the north and north-east of Poland performed at family celebrations all sorts of polkas, marches or waltzes. In their arrangements, however, they try to show all the things that throughout years have influenced and changed Polish folk music. That is why elements of city folk, tango, Middle East influences, as well as Greek music can be heard on the record.

As Poland is a rather cold country, elements of reggae and Caribbean music are introduced to let in some sun rays for those who long for the summer. Such a combination may seem strange, yet the underlying idea is to offer modern listeners music which is accessible and at the same time reminds them of the forgotten folk roots.

The band's name may seem as if it were taken from English. It is not so. BERKLEJDY is how 100-200 years ago people in Mazury region used to call musicians performing at weddings and other celebrations. Seeing such musicians they used to say: - Look, BERKLEJDY are coming...

Unfortunately band broke up after unexpected death of cymba?y player - Andrzej Zajko...

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