J.A.R. (& Monkey Bussiness)
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Roman Holý (23 February 1966)
Michael Viktořík (2 December 1965)

Born in Susice Holý went to Prague at the end of the Eighties to study. In the U Holubů club he met DJ/rapper Michael Viktořík who introduced him to funk and rapmusic Viktořík picked up during his military service. Together with rapper Oto Klempíř they started the band J.A.R. in 1989. The bandname stands for Jednotka Akademického Rapu as well as Jaromír a Radomír. The band soon expands to a collective with rock, jazz and hiphop artists fluthering in and out. In 1992 they release the debut ‘Frtka’ on the small independent Monitor label. This attracts the attention of BMG who sign the band for a single album, the follow up ‘Mydli-to!’ released in 1994. Without much success, the public is more interested in Anglo American music at that time. In that period Viktořík also works as a DJ for Radio Golem and Holý works as a producer and session artist. Mid-Nineties the revived Bonton label signs the band. Added with vocalist Dan Bárta and a brass section the 1997 album ‘Mein Kampfunk’ finally means the breakthrough for J.A.R.. Big hits of the album are ‘Maksimig ‘ andf ‘Hnědojed’. Displaying their idea of making collective art of their music the narrative booklet with the CD is written by Lely Geislerová. This idea is stretched to video art with the movie ‘V deseti letí desetiletím’ accompanying their 1999 album.

In the same year Holý starts a second band called Monkey Business working with the same musical genre (funky jazzy hiphop) but then with English vocals. Both bands co-exist but it will take four years for J.A.R. to come up with a new album. Viktořík returns to DJ-ing in this period. By then Holý also starts a career in composing and producing soundtracks. The first is the music for a nonexistent fictional film called ‘Crushing Bliss’ (2004) which is soon followed by several other scores. He also joins in the one-off project G-Hunters Point. In 2009 the band celebrates their 20th anniversary with a compilation CD and DVD. But it will take until 2011 before the band comes up with a true new album, five years after their last release.

On the web:

- J.A.R.'s facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jarprague

- Monkey Bussiness facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/monkeybusinessprague

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Dino Dvornik (Croatia)

Jan Delay (Germany)

What do we think:

DB: funkajazzohiphoprock from the Czech republic. And not just a cheap copy but this collective has some serious music making going on. The chemistry between Holý, Viktorik and the rest of the crew is as organic as it is catching. Maybe for some it is all a bit to funky but it's damn tastefull.


- Frtka 1992

- Mydli-to! – 1994

♪♪♪ - Mein Kampfunk - 1997

♪♪♪ - Homo Fonkianz - 1999

- Nervák - 2002

♪♪♪♪ - Armáda špásu - 2006

- Dlouhohrající děcka - 2011

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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  EUROPOPMUSIC - Central Europe