Not Your Average Hit List

© W Kowalinski for the album cover design.

© Beata Kozidrak/Jaroslaw Kozidrak/Pronit/Pomaton EMI for the music (excerpt).

© Per A.J. Andersson for the text. Written August 2002, updated November 2011.

Martwa woda
by Bajm

One of Poland's best known rock groups started out in 1978 as somewhat of a folk outfit, debuting at music festivals with the slow-moving "Piechota do lata". But soon they changed for a more rockish costume.

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In the early years Bajm was centered around brother and sister Kozidrak - Beata and Jaroslaw. Beata has ever since their first record been the defining ingredient of the group, and she is today the only founding member still being part of the group.

The lead singer with her powerful and dynamic voice has also been productive with composing parts of the group's repertoire. So with the usual song-writers her solo album released in 1998 didn't feel much different to a regular Bajm record.

The group has tried a lot of different musical clothes over the years. With their second album, released in 1984, the influences from British progressive rock was strongly felt. Henry Mazurek's handling of the electric guitar showed more than a little resemblance to the atmospheric guitar sound of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd). And Beata Kozidrak's voice was used with similar finesse, witnessing a remarkable range of emotions and character. With everything from operatic timbres and high notes to raw screaming more characteristic of heavy metal.

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Like many of Bajm's early records, "Martwa woda" remained until the 21th century to be released on CD. But several of its tracks had already been featured on various Bajm compilations. Such as the quintessential Bajm song from their progressive rock era - "Malpa i ja". The title meaning "Me and My Monkey", the whole character of the song nevertheless implies far from bubble-gum content. In Poland the group's lyrics have been appreciated for their insights into human behaviour.

The themes of the record are also visible on "Ucz sie, ucz sie", which deals with authoritarian teaching methods. Not totally unlike the things presented on Pink Floyd's "The Wall" some years before. But this time it was done from inside the Eastern bloc, in a country with authoritarian rule, by a rock group that was visible enough to be subjected to government suppression.

Maybe the experience of the Solidarity Movement from 1979 and onwards made possible more of political criticism here than in neighboring countries. Or perhaps it was the more humourous approach to the subject by Bajm.

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During the 1990s the group flirted with both the pop and the hard rock markets. But looking from their latest effort, "Mysli i slowa", they seem to have landed somewhere in between. 20 odd years after their debut album they are still keeping on to their rock instrumentation and their mostly very listenable compositions featuring the powerful vocals of Beata Kozidrak. //

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PS. On this page all accented characters have been replaced with their non-accented equivalents, for easier presentation of Polish names and titles.


(Pronit, 1984)

• W klatce lwa
• Malpa i ja (EXCERPT)
• Piramidy na niby
• Czaruj mnie
• Sciany maja uszy, uszy znakomite

• Diabelski krag
• Martwa woda
• Moja wina, wielka wina
• Ucz sie, ucz sie
• W klatce lwa (reprise)

Compositions: B Kozidrak/J Kozidrak
Production: Oddz. Pl. PSJ Bydgoszcz (Józef B. Nowakowski)

ALBUMS by Bajm
• Bajm (1982)
• Martwa woda (1984)
• Chron mnie (1986)
• Nagie skaly (1988)
• Biala armia (1990)

• Plomien z nieba (1993)
• Etna (1995)
• Szklanka wody (2000)
• Mysli i slowa (2003)

ALBUMS by Beata Kozidrak
• Beata (1998)
• Teraz plyne (2005)

(mostly in Polish)
Biala Armia (fan club)
Etna (another fan club)
Chron mnie
Wirtualna Polska

• Pink Floyd (early inspiration)
Varius Manx (more King Crimson influence)
Antonella Ruggiero (powerful vocals)
Sapho (vocal playfulness)
• Fleetwood Mac (versatility)

Not Your Average Hit List 43 minutes... Alla är Ambition Consequences Door to Door The Dreaming Dzien i noc État d'urgence In the Spirit of Things Kaze no tani no Naushika Lights in the Night Martwa woda Nuit d'amour Once in a Million Open Door People Are Strange The Royal Scam Stationary Traveller Victim of Love Whore Music Up North Music Out West Music Far East Music Down South Films I Like a Lot Comic or Not On and Off TV About Me There's so much more out there ...