Drť & Fedor Gál
In the case of Drť, the socially critical content is just as crucial as the electrifying form. The group was founded by Miro Tóth, a composer and saxophonist who straddles the line between contemporary classical, experimental music and free jazz, and Michal Kaščák, the frontman of the cult Slovak band Bez ladu a skladu and the founder of the Pohoda festival. They originally set out to make music based on interviews with Alojz Lorenc, the last director of the StB – the secret police of the communist Czechoslovakia. The result combined cheerless, yet at times downright Dadaist lyrics with a hybrid of jazz, punk and experimental music. The incongruous mixture of entertainment and bleakness became even more pronounced in their following project, which adapted authentic recordings of former Slovak finance minister Ján Počiatek. Their rendition of the dreadful arrogance at the highest levels of Slovak politics was forceful enough to jump-start their current venture, where they collaborate with the intellectual and politician Fedor Gál. Initially, Gál criticised Drť’s brutally honest approach, arguing it debases the public debate. Nevertheless, following this discussion, Gál joined Drť to record his reflections on his personal experiences from landmark events of the (Czecho)Slovak history from the end of the Second World War to the beginning of the Russian invasion. Their live premier garnered a very positive reception for its contrast of thought-provoking lyrics with energetic and playful music.