How about some Slovakian field recordings? Some of them even made in actual Slovakian fields. ‘Chočské vrchy a doliny’ (Choč mountains and valleys) is a ‘Collection of field recordings from north-central Slovakia, capturing soundscapes of local villages Kvačany and Veľké Borové, surrounding meadows and insect population.‘ It’s not all bucolic calm, breathtaking vistas and rustling leaves. The track giving its title to this post is a folk song or hymn – roughly ‘you looking for a soul, there is no peace anywhere’. It’s beautiful, if perhaps lacking in cheer. So it is across this collection, Gruska points his microphones at the people in the villages too and captures a working, populated countryside. The second track is pretty much a minute of chainsaw noises, there are also idling engines and so on alongside the calm and beauty of ‘Cowbells, prayers, crickets, wind.‘
Bratislava is also home to Z Tapes, a busy little label putting out weird, lo-fi, bedroom indie pop from the sad misunderstood loners of the world. Somehow I’ve ended up on their email list along the way. This puzzles me because although I find it all quite charming – it has some nice cover art and interesting titles – the music is pretty relentlessly wet and half arsed. I’m not sure any of their impressively international roster is actually Slovak either. Still, bless. You can buy everything they’ve ever put out for a euro if you want it.
Then there’s this. Childish tape collage noise nonsense. A two minute track, which is quite fun and a half hour long one I suspect nobody, not even the guy who made it, has listened to in full. It might become meditative if you stick with it. I wouldn’t know. Although they both appear to have been made using tape recorders and very little else it’s kind of the polar opposite of the Jonáš Gruska stuff at the top.