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Republika was a Polish rock band which began in 1978 in Torun, Poland. Originally, the band was founded and fronted by Jann Castor and guitar virtuoso Zbigniew Rucinski under the name Res Publica. In 1979 they debuted on the stage of Sopot at the ‘Muzyki Młodej Generacji’ event.  The name immediatelly became a problem since it took its origin from "Rzecz Pospolita" (Res Publica). Under the communist regime the name was censored and changed into Republika. At that time multi instrumentalist Grzegorz Ciechowski joined the band. Working with the new wave concept they created an image emphazid by art that was created by Ina Koneczna, an artist from Torun. This was later transformed (but based on her art) into black and white stripes that became the band’s logo. In this line up Republika debuted at a new wave band concert in Torun in November 1981.

In June 1982 the band, consisting of Pawel Kuczynski (bass), Zbigniew Krzywanski (guitar), Slawomir Ciesielski (drums), and Grzegorz Ciechowski (vocal, piano, flute) began a three-month recording session, which resulted in the classic 1983 album ‘Nowe Sytuacje’. Within a year, Republika recorded ‘Nieustanne Tango’, which was a logical expansion of the anti-regime musical ideas they'd established in their debut. The band also released an English-language album, the Orwellian ‘1984’ which flopped. Due to artistic quarrels, Republika disbanded in summer 1986. Grzegorz Ciechowski kicked off a solo career under as Obywatel (Citizen) G.C.. The other band members along with new vocalist Robert Gawlinski continued as Opera. Using unreleased Republika song sketches, Ciechowski released a solo album, Obywatel G.C., in 1986. His debut was an artistic success rather than commercial one; however his 1988 sophomore effort, Tak! Tak! was a blockbuster.

In 1990, the Festival of Polish Song in Opole planned concert summarizing the achievements native rock in the 80s, which invited the Republic . The band members reconciled and agreed to this proposal. Later, the band played several concerts for the Polish American community . Only Kuczynski refused the proposition. The shows were  a catalyst for Republika's reunion.and as a trio, the band issued their comeback album, 1991, which was a compilation of their well-known but rearranged songs. Kuczynski was replaced by Leszek Biolik, with whom Ciechowski, Krzywanski, and Ciesielski finished recording the final Obywatel G.C. album titled Obywatel Swiata (Citizen of the World)  which featured a duet with young singer Kayah.
In 1993, the first live unplugged album ‘Bez Pradu’ was released. The same year Republika recorded the classic album Siodma Pieczec, which presented a more acoustic countenance, with keyboards and samplers replaced by Hammond or Rhodes piano. In 1995, they released the rather pop-sounding album, Republika Marzen. Grzegorz Ciechowski's sudden cardiac death on December 22, 2001 interrupted production of the next Republika album. Four finished tracks along with 15 live songs comprised a double-CD simply titled Republika.

In 2003 a 13 -disc box set was released with all previously published albums and additional material (eg recording of a concert at Roskilde and Demo CD contains several recordings of rehearsals ) In 2009 the remaining bandmemvers  performed in Warsaw on Theatre Square in a concert to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Poland. Vocalist at the concert was Tomasz Lipnicki .In 2011 the band was special guest at the XVII Woodstock festival on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the band and the 10th anniversary of the death of Gregory Ciechowski. Under the title ‘Stop the republic’ they were joined by artists like Lipnicki , Andrzej Kraiński, Tomasz Pukacki and Ania Dąbrowska.

On the web:

- Republika's website: http://www.republika.art.pl/

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

Indochine (France)

What do we think:

DB: Perhaps one of the more original Cold Wave bands coming from the former Eastern Bloc. Republika were inspired by the gothic side of the new wave spectrum with their black and white imagery and transformed the sounds of the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen and Indochine to the Polish rock pantheon. Their album output was limited but nevertheless the band gained a huge cult status over the years. For Ciechowski it was sad that he did not live long enough to pick the fruits of the Eighties revival in the new millenium.


- Nowe sytuacje (1983)

- Nieustanne tango (1984)

- 1991 (1991)

- Siódma pieczęć (1993)

- Republika marzeń (1995)

- Masakra (1998)

♪♪♪♪♪ = 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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