Maanam & Kora Bookmark and Share


- Olga 'Kora' Jackowska: 8 June 1951 - 28 july 2018
- Marek Jackowski: 11 December 1946 - 18 may 2013

Maanam was formed by Olga 'Kora' Jackowska, her then-husband Marek Jackowski and Milo Kurtis in 1976. Kora and Marek are divided over the origin of the band’s name: Kora claims it comes from an old Persian saying for ‘I am’, while Marek claims it’s an abbreviation for his and Milo's earlier band called 'M-a-M'. After an acoustic folk period with Maanam Milo left the band to form Osjan and was replaced by John Porter. The new lineup performed more rock-based music under the name Maanam Elektryczny Prysznic. In 1979 Porter left to form his own successful band; Kora and Marek recruited new members and started recording and performing as just Maanam.

The first album 'Maanam' was released in 1980 and was an instant success; strengthened by the band's now-legendary performance in Opole. It featured energetic, guitar-centred post-punk sound laced with Kora's vocal gymnastics. Maanam immediately fit into the changing cultural climate of Poland at the time and became so successful that the demand for their second album exceeded one million copies - which could not be satisfied, since the production of vinyl for LP's in Poland was too low at the time (martial law had been declared shortly before the start of the recording). The album 'O!' was less successful than the first, but still gave the band a few hits. In 1983 Maanam's third album was released; in an attempt to succeed outside Poland, it was recorded in both Polish and English. 'Night Patrol' (or 'Nocny patrol' in the Polish version) became Maanam's masterpiece - the style was closer to cold wave, more atmospheric, evoking images of sullen Polish streets during the martial law. At the time, due to their refusal to perform at a USSR youth festival in 1984, Maanam's songs got banned from radio for a couple of months; the fans literally bombarded the DJs with requests!

The more lightweight 'Mental Cut' and its English language version 'Wet Cat' were recorded in 1984, but international success continued to elude the band. Finally, in 1986, Maanam took a break from extensive touring and recording; their comeback album 'Sie ściemnia', released belatedly in 1989, was a flop, although the title song's video became the first Polish music video to air on the international MTV. Around that time, Kora collaborated briefly with Kraków's underground band Püdelsi - the resulting album, 'Bela pupa', much more experimental than Maanam's own work, was unfortunately ignored.

In 1991 Maanam returned with a more mainstream rock sound and a new album called 'Derwisz i anioł'. The group wouldn’t stay as tight as in the beginning with band members hopping on and off the Maanam team, but for a few years they were still successful. After some mellower albums, 2004's 'Znaki szczególne' was a welcome return to the band's roots. Sadly, it turned to be Maanam's last, as at the end of 2008 the breakup of the band was announced. In 2008 Kora released a new solo project with a band called '5th Element', while Marek Jackowski continues to perform with a new band. The Goodboys. Next to singing Kora does some acting in the TV film 'Przystan' (1997). In 2003 she lends her voice to the animation film 'The Incredibles'. At the end of 2011 Kora presents fifth soloalbum. On May 18, 2013 Marek dies at his house in Italy from a heart attack. Five years later, Kora follows him, dying on 28 July 2018, aged 67, of ovarian cancer.

On the web:

- Maanam's official website: http://www.maanam.pl

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

Nina Hagen (Germany)

Anette & Inga Humpe (Germany)

TC Matic (Belgium)

What do we think:

DB: Great band. Punky, edgy and experimental. Even in their more 'commercial sounding' period they stayed on the right side of the track. I don't know if the vinyl shortage story is true but it gives an idea of how popular they were.

PR: Maanam and Kora are very interesting and creative artists. Their msic deserves to be discoverd outside Poland. They created very different kinds of music: punk, new wave, rock, latin and just plain pop. Kora is a very enigmatic singer with e beautiful voice (that is if she's not screaming her lungs out on a punk rock song). Highly recomended!

Recommended albums:

Maanam albums:
♪♪♪ - Maanam - 1980

♪♪♪♪ - O! - 1982

♪♪♪♪♪ - Nocny Patrol - 1984

♪♪♪ - Mental Cut - 1985

Sie sciemnia - 1989

Derwisz i anioł - 1991

Róża - 1994

Łóżko - 1996

Klucz - 1998

♪♪♪ - Hotel Nirvana - 2000

Znaki szczególne - 2004

Kora albums:
Bela Pupa (with Pudelsi) - 1988

♪♪♪ - Ja Pana w podróż zabiorę - 1990

♪♪♪♪ - Kora Ola! Ola! - 2003

♪♪♪ - Metamorfozy (with 5th element) - 2008

♪♪♪♪ - Ping Pong - 2011

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