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CRUNKCZAR (soviet bloc gabba rap)

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"With its roots in the cold war, crunkczar welds warped hip-hop with relentless Polish techno. But behind the inevitable dance crazes lies a murky world of drug dens and shoot-outs.


The world has already witnessed hip-hop artists experimenting with trance riffs but is this same innocent, naive world ready for the merging of former Soviet bloc trance and gabba with bastardised hip-hop vocals? Probably not. But you're going to have to get used to it because, inspired by the trance-hop from US labels like Alabama's Slow Motion Soundz and Paper Route Records, a scene of Polish producers who add slowed-down hip-hop vocals to harsh, pounding 4/4 tracks has emerged.


The staunchly underground scene, known as Crunkczar, was founded by Ryszard "Crunk King" Kuklinski, the grandson of a renowned cold war spy for the CIA of the same name. Facing danger of discovery, his grandfather, who was instrumental in preventing a nuclear holocaust, was extracted from Poland with his family in 1984 and settled in Florida, where Ryszard Jr would be born. The "Crunk King", as he would come to label himself, moved to Warsaw, Poland with his parents when they believed it was safe, after the fall of Communism in the mid 90s. It is there he resides today – in a squatted bunker with his crew, Boom Boom Clik.


Squat living is an integral part of Crunkczar. Rival crews, such as Bass Boyz, also live together in illegally occupied spaces. There is intense rivalry between different crews, with extreme measures taken to gain control over prime squatting spots. Squat shoot-outs between opposing crunkczar crews are commonplace. In one gang fight, Ryszard was shot 10 times – a fact he is immensely proud of because this is more than his hero 50 Cent was sprayed with.


Ryszard's other main obsession seems to be HBO series The Wire. His haircut, a cornrow mullet, was, he informed me, modelled on the locks of Slim Charles from the American TV drama.


Also unique to crunkczar are the drug rituals its ravers take part in. During a squat rave, clubbers first take an extremely potent downer to numb their limbs and then later ingest a powerful stimulant to give them the energy to dance to the breakneck beats, which can be as fast as 200bpm. Currently, the most popular downer used is carfentanil, which was famously used to anaesthetise a T-Rex in Jurassic Park 3. Transdermal patches containing the drug are stolen from veterinary practices and sold on the black market for the equivalent of just under 20p a go. Once absorbed into the bloodstream, the user's limbs become so numb that it reportedly feels like they have transformed into a rubber-like state. Next, a powerful amphetamine such as Dexedrine will be taken, and the raver will embark on what is known as the crunkczar power dance. To me it looks like flailing around uncontrollably, but there you go. "




I first heard of Crunkczar the other day while reading about some guy's underwhelming road trip around the Balkans. It was quite funny and can be read HERE.


Then hurtyoubad put a link to a Guardian article up today so I thought I'd share it with you. There's a bit more text there so click the link, plus it has an A Milli remix which is worth listening to. Also the main producer seems to have the same name as the Iceman if I remember right.


Turbo-folk needs to be investigated also...

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