Polish Juke

21/11/2018New Zealand Producer Surly Skilfully Melds Polish Jazz And Chicago Footwork

This might be a late call to some of you, but we still believe Surly's "Trip to Warsaw" EP deserves a spot in our Journal. Even more so after seeing an official vinyl release on London's Astigmatic Records earlier this year, due to popular demand. Beehype even went on to call it "one of the understated masterworks of 2017."

Surly is the pseudonym of New Zealand producer and Californian Juke Bounce Werk member Scott Ludvigson, who also happens to be the son of renowned New Zealand jazz musician Tom Ludvigson, known to play alongside Krzysztof Ścierański of the legendary Polish jazz fusion group, Laboratorium.

It may not come as a surprise then that Surly decided to take a trip down memory lane and create a fascinating blend of Polish jazz with Chicago-style juke and footwork patterns, originally released on Lodz-based imprint Polish Juke.

"This EP feels like a time machine, an exploration of the past decades taking footwork back behind the iron curtain. A pinch of romanticism, a touch of melancholy, love, war, unrest, the ambience of cozy clubs and rehearsal rooms wreathed in cigarette smoke, filled with resounding jazz vibes," the liner notes read. 

And indeed, Surly's "Trip to Warsaw" EP is one of a kind, as it digs deep into US underground club culture and finds an unlikely partner in crime, providing for a deep, richly hued backdrop of sepia-coloured sounds, juxtaposed with modern beats, bass and in-your-face street slang. The now sold out, remastered limited edition vinyl release even has an extra track on it, not available digitally. Stream/buy the release on Bandcamp or listen via the SoundCloud player above.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom