This week, Kafkadesk spoke with Baasch, a Polish composer, songwriter and producer known for his distinctive dark electro-pop sound, catchy melodies and unique style at the crossroads of electronic music and synth-pop.
So Baasch, where does the name come from? And who are the people behind?
Although I play live with my band, Baasch is a solo and very personal project. That’s why I decided to create the name form my own name and surname: it simply comes from the first letters from both of them!
I compose, produce and sing my music myself. But I’m so happy to have very talented people around me. Robert Alabrudziński (drums), Alek Żurowski (electronics) and Tomek Mreńca (violin) are the musicians who help me to provide my music live in the best possible way. And let’s also not forget our sound engineer, Kuba Sosulski.
Let’s go back to the genesis of Baasch: how did it all started?
I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember honestly! As a teenager, I was already working in music theaters in Warsaw, had my first music band, etc. But Baasch as my solo project exists since 2012, after I put my first four songs on Bandcamp and people from the music industry treated it as an EP. I had very good reviews and started being invited to play in huge music festivals, in Poland and elsewhere. That was incredible and very surprising at the same time!
How would you define your music? What are your main influences?
I like calling myself an electronic songwriter. Although my music is mainly electronic, I put a huge focus on songs, melodies and lyrics. I always try to compose music that could be sung with just a piano. Writing lyrics is very important to me. So, yes, it’s definitely electronic music, but I wouldn’t call it “club music” either. It has a pop touch in it. I think that also answers the question about the main influences: artists who sing songs arranged with electro music. From Bjork and Massive Attack to Moderate or, more recent, Porches and Seekae, to name just a few.
Any defining moments in your career?
I admit it might not be a very original answer, but to me the release of every new album is a defining and crucial moment. It always paves the way for the new chapter, both in my music and personal life, so every new album is always kind of a landmark event. It helps me to get over the past and move towards the future.
But there has also been other defining moments in my career apart from the release of new albums: for instance, composing the score for the Polish movie ‘Floating Skyscrapers’, or recording an album with the Polish duo Rysy. Both helped me reach a new audience that has been with me ever since.
Tell us a bit about your latest album, “Grizzly Bear with a million eyes”
In a nutshell, it’s an album about demons and how to deal with them. I think every single one of us has his or her own demons, and being vigilant helps to fight them. The demons are those grizzly bears: we need a million eyes to see them. There’s a lot about fears, love and hope in this album.
What’s your take on the current electronic and alternative scene in Poland? How has it evolved in the past few years?
I think Polish music is very strong in general. Also electronic music is getting better and better in Poland. Young Polish people don’t have any complexes anymore about being from a post-Soviet country anymore and their opportunities and possibilities are in par with what people have in Western Europe. Of course, I still think Poland’s music market needs to develop further. But I guess it’s going in the right direction, with music clubs, festivals or independent labels popping up everywhere.
Do you often collaborate with other Polish artists? Any particularly noteworthy collaborations we should check out?
I love collaborating! I think recently almost half of my music activity is based on work with other musicians and artists. I was recently joking that I could release an entire album only based on those tracks. But it teaches me a lot. I usually make my music alone at my studio or at home. Meeting other people, working together gives me a lot of creative energy and makes me create and record different music than I would have alone. I recorded with such Polish acts as Rysy, Bokka, Mary Komasa, Piotr Bejnar, Novika, New Rome and more. All of them are worth checking out!
You just played at the Akvarium in Budapest, opening for Fran Palermo, and are about to play a gig at BuSh. Is this the first time you perform in Hungary? What’s your impression?
The show in Akvarium was my first proper gig in Hungary, and I enjoyed it very much. The club and the audience were absolutely great. I’m looking forward to the next one at BuSH, on November 14. Needless to say, we also had a lot of fun after the show, met really cool people and visited great places. I like Budapest a lot.
What’s next for Baasch? Some exciting news we could share with our readers and your fans?
I’m working on my new studio album. I think it will be released in the beginning of 2020. But I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t plan some collaborations! I’ve just released a song with New Rome, with a beautiful video has been created for it. And in December, I’m releasing an EP with Sonar Soul.