If you’re looking for somebody to adequately explain to you what Trupa Trupa does, I’m not that person. All I can do is try to provide some impressions because I really don’t have anything to compare it with. It’s bits and pieces. It seems chaotic but you always feel a structure. It can be aggressive. It can float and dream. It can do both in the same song. There really aren’t any rules going on here. It’s kind of like trying to define what Syd Barrett was doing with Pink Floyd before he went off the deep end.
Philosopher-poet Grzegorz Kwiatkowski’s lyrics deal with fundamental questions of fighting evil, in a homeland that has experienced more than its share. This hardcore moral stance is matched by the baleful, seething rock of opener “Moving”. But respite is offered by the scratchily pretty, Sonic Youth-like psychedelic ballad “Lines” and Floydian acid-folk of “All And All”, as Trupa Trupa’s sixth album favours often lovely, mysteriously ritualistic sounds. The dreamy vocal and abrasively chiming guitar on “Sick” are also narcotically dislocating. Kwiatkowski’s words stay sunk deep in the title track’s mix, the submerged poetry of an underground band who carry a courageous subculture with them.
Nick Hasted, Uncut
Cold water in the face is too mild a description for the effect of Grzegorz Kwiatkowski’s poems. What they present is simultaneously so human and so barbaric that nausea may be the truest response—coupled with, for me anyway, a contradictory compulsion to keep reading, a desire not to look away.
Coming to the capital after the worst storm in 30 years, Trupa Trupa appeared to take the challenges of being on tour in the midst of such meteorological mayhem in their stride. “So good to be in London after two years of hell,” said Grzegorz Kwiatkowski, the singer of the band, from Gdansk in Poland, which took elements of progressive rock, punk and the avant-garde and infused them with a sense of humour.
In his life and art, Grzegorz Kwiatkowski has devoted himself to anti-fascism, which, in his native Poland, has become something of a full-time job. As a descendent of a concentration-camp survivor, he’s channeled themes of intergenerational trauma and the banality of evil into celebrated works of poetry that have led to guest-lecturer gigs at universities around the world.
Imagine the Beatles and Velvet Underground reading Hannah Arendt while in the studio with film director Michael Haneke. That’s Trupa Trupa in a nutshell, a Gdańsk-based band who spent the last decade perfecting their balancing act between lyrical songs and crushing psychedelia.