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Pulnoc (1990)



Pulnoc to ważny czeski zespół rockowy założony w 1988 roku. Prowadzony przez Milan Hlavsa jako następca Plastic People Of The Universe. Pod koniec 1987 r. Hlavsa postanowili założyć nowy zespół, Pulnoc, co oznacza "północ" - nazwa nie odzwierciedla końca, ale przekształcenie Plastic People. "Północ jest bardzo szczególnym momentem", wyjaśnia Hlavsa - "Jeden dzień umiera i rodzi się inny, ale zawsze istnieje ciągłość. To tak jak z naszym zespołem. "

Jednym z historycznych dla grupy Pulnoc momentów była wizyta Lou Reeda z Velvet Underground i spotkanie z Vaclavem Havlem w Zamku Praskim w 1990 roku. Wtedy to Havel zaprezentował Reedowi najnowszy album grupy wspominając o wielkim wpływie jaki wywarła muzyka Velvet Underground w czasie aksamitnej rewolucji. Wieczorem Havel zabrał Reeda do klubu gdzie grał Pulnoc. Reed wspomina: "Nagle uświadomiłem sobie, że ta muzyka brzmi znajomo. Grali piosenki Velvet Underground - pięknie i szczere - bez zarzutu. Przeniosłem się w czasie". Reed postanowił dołączyć na scenie do zespołu, a następnie odbyła się balanga w towarzystwie Havla i ok. 300 byłych czeskich dysydentów.

Milan Hlavsa - bass , voc
Tomáš Schilla - cello
Petr Kumandžas - drums
Jiří Kabeš, Jiří Křivka - guitar
Josef Janíček - keyboards, vocal
Michaela Němcová - vocals



Czechoslavakian post-punk group Pulnoc emerged from the ashes of the Plastic People of the Universe, the legendary underground art rock unit formed by bassist Milan Hlavsa just weeks after the country's 1968 Communist takeover. Named in honor of the Frank Zappa composition "Plastic People" -- the Velvet Underground, the Doors, the Fugs, and Captain Beefheart were seminal influences as well -- the group's theatrical stage performances earned the ire of officials, especially in light of the Kremlin's "normalization" initiatives which resulted in the closing of virtually all of Prague's rock venues. In 1970, the government revoked the Plastic People's professional license, restricting the band from use of state-owned instruments and practice spaces; as restrictions mounted, the group receded further into Prague's nascent underground music circuit, becoming increasingly experimental even as each of their performances ran the risk of police interference. After a March 1976 appearance led to the arrests of the Plastic People and many of their friends and fans, the band became a cause celebre among anti-Communist leaders including playwright Vaclev Havel; bootleg tapes of their music were also smuggled to the West, further expanding their notoriety.

The Plastic People of the Universe forged on until April of 1988, their demise brought on by internal dissension over whether or not to change their name in the hopes of regaining their performing license; the core trio of Hlavsa, guitarist Josef Janicek, and viola player Jira Kabes soon formed Pulnoc (midnight) with vocalist Michaela Nemcova, guitarist Karel Jancak, cellist Tomas Schilla, and drummer Petr Kuzamandas. Thanks to loosened government restrictions, in the spring of 1989 Pulnoc was allowed to tour the U.S., and with the fall of the Berlin Wall that November, the Czechoslovakian people mounted a successful revolution which ultimately resulted in their liberation from Communist control. While working on their self-titled 1990 debut LP, Pulnoc took time out to open for the reunited Velvet Underground in Paris; City of Hysteria, featuring liner notes by now-Czech president Havel, appeared a year later. Pulnoc dissolved following the exit of drummer Kuzamandas, with Hlavsa soon forming a new group, Friction; the Plastic People of the Universe reunited in 1998, making their long-awaited American debut that summer. ~ Jason Ankeny

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