GB No. 4(23)/96
There are phenomena in this world that I cannot write about without emotions. One such thing is the creation of the Afera (or La Afera) band from Kalisz. Actually ,only recently, when their first really thought over album appeared, did the prodigy of the band fully show up.
Earlier works, though also interesting, were only preparations to the real achievement of the new record entitled Ziemia ginie - ObudĽ się (The Earth dies - Wake up) It was released only a short time ago, so most of the Zielone Brygady readers may not know of it. Therefore, I would like to pass on to you my impressions of this album.
Actually, the whole message of the AFERA production can be expressed in the quotation from their song lyrics which I used as the tittle of this article. However, the texts are worth closer study. The prominent fact is that in the race for technical novelties and gadgets, AFERA issued their music material on the vinyl record (for the information of the younger readers brought up with CD-players, it is a large black disk), as though against progress and the market tendencies. Perhaps the ones who do not make progress retreat, but sometimes it is good to stop and look at the excited promoters of civilized avantgard from a distance. The cover of the record in black and white, rather gloomy colors, features quasi-trees whose boughs have been replaced by wrenches. It is hard to recognize whether it should be an appeal to dismantle the installations posing danger to the Earth or rather a tragic vision of the future nature created by the image of man. On the another side there is the program of "The Workshop for All the Creatures" translated into English, with the address and bank account number, therefore serving as an advertisement of the much needed organization.
AFERA means not only lyrics, but also actions. All the group members are activists working for the Earth and all living creatures and do not confine themselves to singing about ecology only, in contrast to other similar groups. It is not a coincidence that being proactive, real work and devoting one's life to others is mentioned many times in the lyrics.
Although for many it may seem overstated, I would not hesitate to claim that the music by AFERA originates from the same sources as those by Janusz Reichel, Anna Nacher and Agata Jasynska's ATMAN does. However AFERA plays a totally different sort of music; hard core punk with softer accents You can feel honesty and the real "pulse of the Earth" in the performance of both bands.
AFERA's record is dedicated to the Białowieża forest, all the Earth's warriors and Jill Phipps - an activist who died during a blockade of meat transport in Britain. And the ecological aspects of the publication do not end here. On the cover there is also an advertisement for Zielone Brygady and Green Brigades, as well as addresses of the "Gaja" Club, the Women's Foundation, the monthly Mat' Pariadka, the Anti-Nazi Group and the Polish Anarchic Network, which is also a good idea and worth following.
As for the lyrics, I find them very interesting. The band uses writings by Thich Nhat Hanha and Barbara Deming. The rest of the texts are written by the band members or their friends. Practically all of them are loaded with important messages: white race's heritage, sexism, drug addiction, friendship, responsibility. There is also a song devoted to Jill Phipps and one sang in Esperanto, entitled La Programo, which is the band's kind of manifesto.
I am deeply impressed by the record, therefore I hope that other Zielone Brygady readers will have similar feelings about it. I also hope that they will not confine themselves to listening only, because as the title of the record and some of the lyrics indicate, the group is aimed at something more than making a piece of good music. Well, move on, help the Earth...
The record is available at concerts, alternative distributors and trough mail order. The price is about 15 PLN plus the postal cost. At the address given below you may also buy older AFERA records and a number of equally interesting items. To receive the catalogue, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Nikt Nic Nie Wie,
P.O Box 53,
34-400 Nowy Targ,
reprinted from Zielone Brygady, Apr. '96,
transl. M. Maciejewska