MCH Band

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Following the logical continuity of experimental rock group Extempore, MCH Band wears the initials of its leader's name very well. The social conscience and general bleak vision of the world Mikolás Chadima…
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Following the logical continuity of experimental rock group Extempore, MCH Band wears the initials of its leader's name very well. The social conscience and general bleak vision of the world Mikolás Chadima nourishes inhabits the group's songs. Working underground during the '80s, it has recorded only a few albums in the 1990s, but each one was critically acclaimed in the Czech Republic, making MCH Band a leader of that country's mature alternative rock scene.

Following the dissolution of Extempore in September 1981, saxophonist, guitarist, and singer/songwriter Mikolás Chadima took time out to plan his next move. In 1982, he released a first album under the name MCH Band. Like the four other titles that would follow in the course of the decade, Krokodlak was a "samizdat cassette" (i.e. home-duplicated and illegal) released on the musician's own underground label, Fist Records.

At first Chadima explored new noise-related grounds, but soon his songwriting took over and the group's sound extrapolated from Extempore's final recording, Velkomesto. The lyrics became ever more virulent, the music turned into dark straightforward rock with occasional rock-in-opposition-esque developments. The '80s saw numerous live performances by the band, but they were always illegal and held under false names (Chadima had constant problems with the authorities after his signing of the manifesto Charta 77). The music was smuggled abroad and some tracks appeared on international compilation albums, including the first volume of Chris Cutler's influential ReR Quarterly series. A two-CD collection of material from this period, MCH Band 1982-1986, was released by the label Tom K in 1992.

After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, MCH Band recorded two important albums. Gib Acht!!! (with German lyrics) was released in 1993 and still featured some of the complex writing found in late Extempore. While working on various collaborations, Chadima kept the unit alive during the 1990s, stabilizing its lineup around Vladimir Helebrant (keyboards), Hynek Schneider (drums), and Martin Schneider (bass). This quartet recorded the highly political Karnival (1999), which stands as one of the artist's best accomplishments with any group.