Label: not signed
Booking territory: worldwide
“an authentic shiver up the spine” 4/5*, Songlines 2016, issue #123
Death, disaster, murder and mayhem are the staple themes of folk ballads from the Appalachians to the Carpathians; Moravia, the eastern land of the Czech Republic, has its own share of tales of doom and gloom. Ponk – three musicians from the city of Brno – take these songs as the raw material for their explorations into the sonic possibilities of integrating their Moravian roots with a broad palette of modern influences within a traditional line-up of cimbalom, violin and double-bass.
All three have a background of classical music education as well as wide experience in folklore groups, but their taste in music has also been formed by other sounds from the global village green, from rock to hip-hop. Ponk allow all these elements to creatively coalesce to become, as per the title of their debut album, Postfolklor.
Moravia has one of the richest living folklore traditions in Europe with diverse dialects spoken and customs, traditional costumes, dances and musical styles that vary greatly from village to village. “Postfolklor” (2015), Ponk’s debut album, draws heavily on these traditional musical motifs yet the band manage to give these traditional sounds exciting new life with their unconventional modern treatment. The unique texture of Ponk’s music is largely down to the sound of cimbalom. Unlike traditional folk musicians, however, Ponk make use of the instrument’s entire sonic and rhythmic potential, often producing sounds reminiscent of a strange rock guitar. Likewise, the double bass has abandoned its traditional folk sound to follow modern melodic, rhythmic and percussive paths. Ponk’s overall sound is complemented by an instantly recognizable “dirty” violin sound, with intentionally non-folk, rock phrasing. Add distinctive lead-vocals layered over creatively constructed harmonies and you have a unique and distinctly post-folklore sound that breaks all boundaries of the genre.
Postfolklor got positive reviews from all over the world. It was featured in TOP 20 WMCE (World Music Chart Europe) and played by radio stations in Germany, France, Poland and USA. In March 2016, Ponk was awarded Anděl music prize for the best Czech world music album of 2015.
This year the trio composed and recorded music soundtrack to „KIV. – King by favour of the divine mercy“, interactive comic with game elements for the main national TV Czech Television and the band was chosen to represent Czech Republic at international showcase & conference Czech Music Crossroads (by Colours of Ostrava) in july 2016. Last but not least Ponk has been the first band ever to sing in Czech language at the prestigious WOMEX 2016 shocase festival and conference in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Ponk members are:
Michal Krystýnek – vocals & violin
Eduard Tomaštík – cimbalom & vocals
Jakub Nožička – double bass & vocals