Czech Electronic Music Pioneers to Get Wider Release

The duo, who produced hits for Karel Gott, recently talked about smuggling synthesizers into Czechoslovakia

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas Published on 06.01.2017 15:16:27 (updated on 06.01.2017) Reading time: 2 minutes

A newly launched UK music label is catching attention for its plan to reissue old pop, funk, disco, and synth acts from Eastern Europe, many of which languished in obscurity behind the Iron Curtain for years, unavailable to Western markets.

The London-based DJs behind the project, dubbed A Little Beat Different, themselves hail from Central Europe. Their first release was recently announced: a compilation by project ORM, the moniker of Czech producer team Pavel Růžička and Petr Dvořák.

Having worked with big names like Karel Gott and Josef Laufer, ORM is the creative force behind countless hits of the era. But they also produced their own lesser-known records, featuring an electronic dance music sound that was wholly different from their more mainstream pop singles.

The new release, available on Bandcamp, is a compilation that includes tracks hand-picked by the label from four different albums released between 1979 and 1984.

Among them are beats from 1979’s Discofil perhaps best known in the viral age for its unforgettable cover featuring an elderly Czech man sitting in an old-fashioned parlor with a synthesizer.  

(See more in our article Weird and Wonderful Czech Album Covers)

Růžička and Dvořák recently gave an interview to on-line magazine The Vinyl Factory in which they revealed the story behind the infamous cover:

Discofil, 1979 /
Discofil, 1979 /

“The person is our old friend JUDr. Luboš Heteš. He was a noble man – quite literally as his blood had traces of aristocracy. He loved classical music and played the violin very well, although he worked as a lawyer all his life. We loved visiting him as he was really fun to be with. He’d always tell the same jokes – but every time we visited next, he’d ask – “have you heard this one?” Of course we had but we let him tell us for tenth time anyway and everyone was on the floor laughing. So we asked him if he could pose for the Diskofil cover. We were unsure if he would agree to it, but despite his reputable profession, he agreed.”

Read the entire interview here which includes a lengthy story about how the group smuggled synthesizers into the country to achieve its danceworthy DIY sound.

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