Over the last two years, Astigmatic Records have been digging through the Radio Łódź archives, listening to hundreds of recordings of the local Orchestra conducted by Henryk Debich. As a result, 13 gems were selected from the period between 1974 and 1977, which was also the time when the Holy Grail of Polish jazz-funk was created: the highly sought after by record collectors in all corners of the globe "String Beat" album. At the beginning of the year, the first vinyl from the series of releases under the baton of Maestro came out. It was a seven-inch record entitled "Monika/Zabawa w ciemności". The next in line is the long-awaited album "Zbliżenie" ("The Close-up"), initially planned for June, but postponed to September due to overloaded pressing plants.
"Zbliżenie" is a longplay packed with groove, pulsating drums, powerful brass and string sections, and unique, previously unreleased compositions. The album's title is not that random, as, apart from the B-side opening track under the same title, we take a closer look at the period when the Łódź Orchestra, thanks to the "angry youngsters" such as Jacek Malinowski, Mirosław Racewicz, Jacek Delong, Andrzej Żylis and Zbigniew Karwacki, was exploring the genre taking the West by storm – Jazz-Funk. In the seventies, despite having over twenty years of experience, the Łódź Orchestra of the Polish Radio and Television was reinventing itself, sounding ever more modern and exciting with every passing year. Depending on the piece, there could be from forty to seventy musicians performing! The orchestra smoothly maneuvered between funk and disco, touching on illustrative music and jazz.
Upon the project's completion, it turned out that 2021 will be a year of many anniversaries. 18 January marked the 100th birthday anniversary of the legendary conductor and founder of the Łódź Orchestra of the Polish Radio and Television, while July marked 20 years since he is no longer with us. What's more, Radio Łódź, Debich's home away from home for almost half a century, celebrated its 80th anniversary, and 30 years ago the Orchestra he managed until the very end was disbanded.