Tara Fuki is not the name of a solo artist. Rather, Tara Fuki is a female duo that consists of two singer/cellists: Andrea Konstankiewicz (born 1972) and Dorota Blahutová (born 1975). Based in the post-communist Czech Republic, Tara Fuki specializes in a very haunting, moody, and soulful -- if slightly abstract -- style of modern, East European folk-pop. Neither Konstankiewicz nor Blahutová sing in Czech on Tara Fuki's debut album, Piosenki Do Snu, they opt to sing in Polish. Blahutová, in fact, has commented that she would rather sing in Polish than Czech because Polish has softer vowels and consonants. And even though none of Tara Fuki's lyrics are in English, there are hints of Joni Mitchell in some of the duo's vocals. Tara Fuki brings a variety of influences to the table -- not only Mitchell, but also jazz and European classical, as well as traditional East European folk. Favoring a sparse, minimalist approach, the acoustic Piosenki Do Snu does not use drums, guitar, bass, or piano but only two voices and two cellos, and the result is a very interesting and unorthodox sound. Konstankiewicz and Blahutová met in Northern Moravia in early 2000 when both were studying music at the Ostrava Conservatory. At the time, Konstankiewicz had been singing in a band called BOO as well as a music/dance outfit called Rale. Blahutová, meanwhile, had been a member of the Brno, Czech Republic-based band Lippany. When the women came together as a duo, they felt that they culturally had a lot of common ground. Both of them have some Polish heritage; Blahutová's mother is Polish and one of Konstankiewicz's ancestors was a countess in pre-20th century Poland before Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe was taken over by oppressive communist regimes. When Tara Fuki's two members were born in the '70s, the area that is now called the Czech Republic still had a Soviet-style communist government. But when Konstankiewicz and Blahutová were teenagers, they witnessed the fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe; -- and by the time Tara Fuki was formed in 2000, communism was long gone in the Czech Republic. Communism's downfall had a major impact on the Polish and Czech music scenes; instead of recording for government-operated labels, artists like Tara Fuki now find themselves recording for labels that are very much in the private sector. In 2001, Tara Fuki signed with Indies Records, a small independent label based in Brno, and recorded its debut album, Piosenki Do Snu.
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