The music of Vladimir 518 has been a staple of the Czech hip hop scene since it started in the 1990s. Now he has taken his music to a unique performance called Spam that uses cutting-edge video arts to honour architect Karel Prager. Prager was the mind behind some of the most marvelled at and most despised structures in Prague, including the National Theatre’s New Scene building, where the show was held. At the beginning of a wide-ranging interview I asked him why he had chosen the controversial designer as the theme for this latest production.
Anyone familiar with the Czech electronic and dance music scene will have come across the work of Jitka Charvátová, also known as Ji, the charismatic and talented former singer for cutting edge groups like Skyline and the late Milan Hlavsa’s 1990s band Fiction. Now Jitka has reset her career with a recently released but already highly-lauded new solo album called Feed My Lion, featuring 8-bit, electro pop and elements of hip hop.
A concert in aid of Haiti was held on Prague’s Old Town Square on Thursday afternoon. The event was organized by Prague City Hall in cooperation with the country’s public broadcasters Czech Television and Czech Radio. The concert was broadcast live and listeners were asked to send financial donations via their mobile phones. The Czech government recently earmarked 20 million crowns in aid of earthquake victims, Prague City Hall has set aside 12 million and NGOs have raised 36 million crowns.
The Plastic People of the Universe are back with a new album entitled Maska za maskou [The Mask behind the Mask], their first release in nearly a decade, and the first written since the death of their previous lead songwriter Milan “Mejla” Hlavsa. The group are absolute legends of the Czech rock underground, and it was their imprisonment by the communist authorities which famously sparked the Charter 77 protest movement. But while they may now feature in modern history books, the Plastic People always insisted they just wanted to be allowed to
The popular singer-songwriter Jaromír Nohavica performed in a new production entitled Czech Mozart at Ostrava’s Antonín Dvořák Theatre on Friday night. Nohavica, who has recast in verse form librettos from three of Mozart’s operas, presented excerpts from a number of the composer’s best known works. A repeat performance is being held on Sunday, though like Friday’s premiere it is completely sold out.
The young Czech electronic band MIDI LIDI, currently on tour promoting their second album, “Hastrmans, Tatrmans & Bubáks”, have been around since 2006. They first made their mark a year later with their debut album “Čekání na robota”. Combining intelligent beats with different samples and minimalist lyrics, MIDI LIDI’s music radiates a certain warmth, joy and, dare I say, love. The whole experience is enhanced by original video art accompanying their performances which are drawing larger and larger crowds. Besides their albums, MIDI LIDI also gained
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