Disco polo

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Disco polo is a genre of popular[1][2] dance music,[3] created in Poland in the late 1980s, initially known as sidewalk music (Polish: muzyka chodnikowa)[4][5] or backyard music (Polish: muzyka podwórkowa).[6] It is an urban folk music,[3] popular in the mid-late 1990s,[3] with its popularity peaking around 1995–1997.[7] Language Dictionary Polish Publishing PWN defines the genre as a Polish variant of disco music, with simple melodies, and often indecent lyrics.[8]

A gradual decline in popularity began in the early part of the 21st century. However, a resurgence of "disco polo" came in late 2007.[9]


Classic disco polo songs were characterized by the simplest chord progressions,[clarification needed],[1] simple melodies[8], often drawing from the folk music tradition of steady rhythms,[3] coupled with syncopated samples of drums, and accompanying delicate synthesizer sounds[10] or keyboard instruments.[3] Lyrics are often melodramatic tales of unhappy love,[5][11] although they are also often playful,[3] and holiday themed.[5]


The roots of this genre and its beginnings[edit]

The genre is derived from the music played at weddings with a repertoire of Polish folk music and wedding songs, with electronic alternatives to the traditional acoustic instruments, electronic keyboards instead of the traditional acoustic keyboard instrument for example.[3] The most common influential themes were melodramatic texts about unrequited love.[5][11] In addition to these traditional foundations, a large influence on the occurrence of this genre was other popular music from within Europe, including Poland genres of disco - Italo disco. The first band that is representative of this genre - Bayer Full, founded on November 19th, 1984[12][13]. Another band representative of the genre - Top One, was formed in 1986,[14] and both bands have become pioneers of this genre of music.[5] In the late 80s and early 90s, bands like Akcent, Atlantis, Boys and Fanatic,[5]. The first official record label that captures the music of disco polo - Blue Star.[5] The main centers of music sidewalk, and later disco polo was Białystok and other cities lying on the Podlasie (just in this part of Polish artists for the majority of the genre), and Żyrardów and Sochaczew near Warsaw.[5] One of the most famous songs derived from this genre was "Mydełko Fa" ("Soap FA") recorded in 1991 by Marek Kondrat and Marlena Drozdowska, which was to be a pastiche of the music, but it was a big hit and it has contributed to the popularity of the genre. His followers adopted it as their anthem.[5] The name itself was conceived by Sławomir Skręta from the group Blue Star as a replacement for an older term, piosenka chodnikowa (sidewalk music) - which originated from the main means of distribution of its recordings in the early 1990s - sidewalk stalls on streets and at bazaars[15]. Disco polo could be heard mostly at country picnics, county depots, weddings or during political campaigning for Polish parliament and presidential elections. Former president Aleksander Kwaśniewski was one of the most notable examples of a politician who used disco polo during his presidential campaign.[11]

From the 1990s to 2002[edit]

The origin of the name "disco polo", created in 1993,[5] the very similar Italo disco (Italian style of music from the early 80s.) was Sławomir Skręta,[11][16] the owner of a record label Blue Star in Reguły, near Warsaw. This name became popular quickly and effectively replaced the previous name "pavement music". In the first half of the 90s, music, in general, became a mass phenomenon but almost absent in the media. Recorded outside the official circuit cassettes and CDs achieved a tremendous amount. On February 29, 1992, Gala held Songs Chodnikowa and dedicated to this trend of popular music broadcast by TVP1.[5]

The style was extensively marketed by the Polsat TV station, which produced its own disco polo hit list, in a TV show called Disco Relax - premiere December 4, 1994[17] and "Disco Polo Live" - premiere February 3, 1996, in TV Polsat[18]) and radio broadcasting Radio Eska.[5] Disco Polo was also present at that time in Polonia 1 TV station which is a network of the local stations in the larger urban areas and in the TV Polonia. In other media, the music at that time was hardly absent and acknowledged by the mainstream media as a symbol of kitsch and primitivism.

Before the presidential elections in 1995, bands and singers used disco polo during the election campaign. Traditional instrumentation came to be replaced by keyboards later in the '90s, which contributed to a slight change in style, making the songs more similar to modern dance music, especially Eurodance music.

In December 31, 1995, TVP 1 aired a program of disco polo entitled, "Karnawałowa Gala Disco Polo" ("Carnival Gala Disco Polo").[19][20] In 1996, Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz and Michał Arabudzkii directed a documentary film called "Bara Bara," which explored the disco polo trend. It was aired in the same year on TVP1.[21]

April 24, 1998 theatrically released film by Robert Glinski Fri. "Kochaj i rób co chcesz" (Love and do what you want), in which the main character goes to a club to play the piano music of disco polo.[22]

During the 1990s, artists started mixing the disco polo with other musical genres such as dance music, house music, and techno.[5][11]

From 1997[5][19] to 2001[23]), there was a glut of music and a sharp decline in sales of disco polo cassettes and CDs due to the growth of the Polish and foreign pop music,[19] rock music, hip hop,[11] dance music[19] and electronic music. Its airplay in media platforms such as Radio Eska, TV Polonia 1 and TV Polonia have been diminished. For instance, in late August 2002, Polsat TV cancelled "Disco Relax" and "Disco Polo Live,"[24] which left many bands jobless.[25] Some observers believe that the drastic decline in the popularity of the genre was also caused by the immigration of disco polo musicians to the United States, where some artists are continuing their work.


In years 2002-2007 some teams continued their activities (e.g. Toples or Weekend). During this period, the teams seemed even his new disc, but due to the lack of existence at the time the species in the national media, they did not bring popularity. August 12, 2004, it appeared in an article by Wojciech Orliński in Gazeta Wyborcza on title "Śmierć disco polo" ("The death of disco polo") which describes the collapse of the genre at the turn of the century.[26]

In August 6, 2006, TVN aired a program called Attention! Behind the scenes of the cycle of Fame. This is dedicated to the revival of the disco polo genre.[23] A report in the poll was recognized as the best internet coverage of 2006 and it was repeated 31 December.[27] In 2007, after a five-year hiatus, this music has established itself again on television screens through iTV station, which broadcasts the program every Fri. "Discostacja". In addition, the promotion takes place on the Internet through two Internet radio stations associated with it. Starting this year, teams started to play gigs again, the number of which increased every year, and again began to sell records, so teams started again profitable. From July 5, 2008 at the antenna Polskie Radio Lublin returned paving program that presents music "Nie tylko Barachołka" ("Not only Barachołka") formerly known as "Barachołka". Is broadcast between 21:00 and 2:00 in the morning of Friday to Saturday.[28] In the first half of 2009, the music of disco polo promoted Edusat channel,[29] but after three months from the resigned. Since March 2009, the iTV television broadcast resumed years ago Disco Polo Live program,[30] but the issue was suspended in March 2011.[31] Disco Polo Live program and Disco Relax is now broadcast in Polo TV. October 4, 2009 in Tele 5, a new program devoted to the current of disco polo Fri. Disco Banjo, which lasts approximately 50 minutes.[32] Maciej Jamróz manufacturer. In Tele 5 program was broadcast from Power Dance 2012. Currently, the program "Disco Banjo" is broadcast every morning at the station Polonia 1. From December 5, 2010 on channel VIVA Polska (VIVA Poland) every Sunday aired a block of dance music called "Disco ponad wszystko" ("Disco above all")[33] This program viewership station picked up twice and each subsequent episode accumulate more and more audience,[34] but was removed after a period of eighteen months from the antenna.[35] Disco Polo emits a CSB TV, but the channel broadcasting ended in May 2012. Disco polo has regained immense popularity starting in 2011 with the formation of the Polo TV music channel.[36] This renaissance of the disco polo genre resulted in many remakes of old hits as well as the creation of dozens of new disco polo groups. This channel from December 19, 2011 is shown as digital TV and the multiplex and became the most watched music channel in Poland. September 27, 2011 was launched TV.DISCO channel, which broadcast the species next to disco, dance music and electronic music, which was now on the air until the end of January 2015.[37] On this channel was to be resumed in the 90s broadcast aired on TV Polsat Disco Relax program, which eventually returned February 12, 2012 year Polo TV.[38] October 20, 2012 year, TVS channel moved to the Polo TV program VIPO Disco Polo Hits, which leads Wojciech Grodzki. It is aired every Saturday at 10.00.[39] December 1, 2012 Polsat has launched a new program dedicated to the music of disco polo on title "Imperium Disco Polo" ("Disco Polo Empire"), they are a repeat of Polsat Play.[18] However, at the beginning of March 2013 the program was taken off the air communal Polsat, due to the emergence of new episodes of Memoirs of the holidays, but new episodes are still being issued in the available cable and digital platforms channel Polsat Play. From 21 April 2013 to June 2013, this program emit Entertainment ATM station, and from August 3, 2013 is shown as Polsat 2 at 2:00 am.[40] From April 8 to 1 December 2013 in disco polo was promoted by Radio Plus, changed the password station with soft hits to Always in rhythm, in addition to disco polo issued there were songs dance music from the 80s and 90.[41] From 1 December 2013 in music has been moved to the radio VOX FM.[42] The reason for this change were protests from listeners of Radio Plus and bishops who are the owners of licenses on radio Plus.[41] August 17, 2013, Telewizja Polsat issued under sail "Disco Pod Gwiazdami" ("Disco concert starring") disco polo star: Akcent, Shazza, Boys, Classic and Weekend. This was the first concert disco polo since the elimination of programs of this species in the station for more than 10 years, and his audience was 2.7 million.[43] May 1, 2014 were launched another TV channel dedicated to disco polo on Disco Polo Music, which belongs to the Polsat.[44] In early February 2015 years TV.DISCO station due to changes in the program of events has removed the music disco polo.[37][45] 27 February 2015 hit movie theaters Maciej Bochniaka "Disco Polo", which tells the story of a group of musicians from the provinces who get on top of the charts Disco Polo.[46] February 26, 2015, in connection with the release of this film, this musical genre was dedicated episode of "Hala odlotów" ("Waiting Area") aired that day on TVP Kultura.[47] This species after 2002 in the musical layer by some contractors is combined with dance music[48][49] and other genres of electronic dance music.[50][51][52][53] The songs of this genre after 2002 often also contain elements of folk music and pop music.[49] The bands and artist is popular after 2002 year are among others After Party, Weekend, Andre, Czadoman, Tomasz Niecik, Eva Basta, Masters, DJ Disco ft. MC Polo, Cliver, Effect and Power Play.[54] Disco polo is also popular outside of Poland, especially within the Polish diaspora. There are artists, such as Disco Polo Tomek, who sing disco polo music. Recently, disco polo genre has seen a new revival in Poland after the 2016 New Year's Eve party, when the TV channel TVP2 has invited the frontman of one of the most popular disco polo performers Zenon Martyniuk of Akcent fame to perform at the main stage.[55] The president of Polish television Jacek Kurski has also expressed his joy at the fact that disco polo is no longer ironically hated as the performance was enjoyed by many people present at the event.[56]

Genre in Polish mass media[edit]

Since the mid-90s to the turn of the century television and radio programs devoted to the music of disco polo emit TV Polsat stations,[5] Radio Eska,[5] Polonia 1, TV Polonia and some regional radio stations and local cable networks.

Since 2007, interest in disco polo has grown, which is reflected in a greater presence of this music in some media that the increased amount of played concerts. However, the species is still by many radio and television is not promoted and is considered a symbol of bad taste.[9] After 2002 TV stations that promoted or promote disco polo were also Polo TV, iTV, Polsat 2, TVS, Polonia 1, Disco Polo Music, TVR, VOX Music TV, Power TV, Polsat Play, Eska TV, TV.DISCO, VIVA Polska, Polsat, Puls 2, Tele 5, ATM Rozrywka.

After 2002 year this trend also promoted or promote the music, some radio stations, Internet as np.Discoparty.pl, Disco-Polo.fm, Discostacja or IRN, as well as regional - including Radio Express, Radio Hit Radio Jard, Radio Kaszëbë, Polish Radio Kielce, Radio Leliwa, Polish Radio Lublin, and Radio Silesia and radio Plus and radio VOX FM . Positive influence on disco polo renewed interest is also the Internet, especially social services, such as video. YouTube and Wrzuta.pl. In the summer, several festivals are held disco polo, of which the largest are organized since 1996 National Festival of Music and Dance in Osterode from 2011 Kwakowie near Kobylnica disco polo music festival and dance in Poland - Disco Hit Festival - Kobylnica. Occur on the biggest stars of the Polish dance music and thousands of fans coming from all over Polish. Bands and performers disco polo also participate in many concerts and charity events including during the Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy (Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity).[57]

In 2011 Polish director Maciej Bochniak produced the documentary One Billion Happy People (2011) centered around the journey of disco polo heroes Bayer Full in China.[58] Three years later Bochniak came back to the topic and went on to direct Disco Polo (2015), a nostalgic feature film about disco polo milieu in the 1990s.[59]

Additional information[edit]

  • Disco Polo was met with severe criticism from supporters of other musical genres, who accused it of primitiveness of music, text naivety, poor performance and lack of originality (duplication motifs and designs, often derived from Polish and foreign music of the 60s and 70s). This criticism, however, did not affect the popularity of this music. Supporters of this genre and the groups performing it argue that currently progressing professionalization disco polo, musical and lyrical layer has improved, and the performers are increasingly avoiding the playback singing.[48][60]
  • At the same time, some of the older generation featured performers took part in the creation of mainstream disco polo or used on its popularity (e.g. Janusz Laskowski, Marlena Drozdowska, Bohdan Smoleń, Andrzej Rosiewicz, Stan Tutaj, Marek Kondrat, Piotr Pręgowski and Cabaret OT.TO).
  • In the early 90s Krzysztof Krawczyk sang and recorded songs in the italo disco current, on the basis of which disco polo came into being.[61][62]
  • The promotion of disco polo in Poland was often in the hand of the leaders of criminal organization Pruszków mafia and Wołomińska mafia.[7] At the height of the success of this music, in 1995–1997, criminal organizations controlled approx. 70 percent of the market.[63]

Notable disco polo artists[edit]


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References and notes[edit]

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  2. ^ "DISCO-POLO". encyklopedia.interia.pl. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
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  4. ^ Sławomir Zygmunt. Co to jest disco polo?. Magazine „KINO”. Number 4, 1998. ISSN 0023-1673. (Polish)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Anna Kowalczyk Krótka historia disco polo „Wiedza i Życie”. Nr 9/1997. ISSN 0137-8929 (Polish)
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  7. ^ a b Rafał Pasztelański, Piotr Krysiak „Mafiopolo” Archived November 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Wprost Number: 9/2007 ISSN 0209-1747. (Polish)
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  47. ^ Hala odlotów Vod.tvp.pl - Telewizja Polska S.A.
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  56. ^ Plotek.pl (2016-12-30), Kurski śpiewa z Martyniukiem. "Taką cię wyśniłem", retrieved 2017-01-05
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