Friday, 23 October 2009

Lolek and Bolek

One of the weird and beautiful things about childhood is that memories from that time often induce a physical reaction. The smell of my grandmother's Irish lamb stew, or of the tropics - all diesel and briney palms - when the door of the plane was first opened after a long haul flight, still manage to cast me back in time, make my toes curl and the seams of my mouth crease up. The same is true of Lolek and Bolek. A Polish cartoon created in the mid-sixties, it bears all the flair of Soviet arts and crafts, but with anti-establishment lashings of innocence and a joy of play in its most sincere form. Brought back to my childhood home by a friend of my parents who was posted to Warsaw at the time, these silent ten minute epics still captivate me in a way that few other works of art have EVER managed.

Imagine my surprise however upon entering university and mentioning to a Polish friend about my love for the series, that his grandfather, Władysław Nehrebecki created the show, and that it was based on his two sons, one of them being the father of my friend (I'm not sure which). I mean, I know a few Polish people, not hundreds, but a few, yet even so, what are the chances of that happening?

In all honesty, I haven't thought about it for a while until I came across a track which is also quite obviously endebted to this seminal series, the Polish Catz N Dogz' 'Lolek and Bolek'. Cue a slew of hazy memories: rainy days in spent watching a worn out Soviet VHS, dreaming of these surreal and alien Polish landscapes and yearning for the freedom to explore the woods, derelict fairgrounds, and mountain lodges, that these two adventurous lads were able to.

The weird thing is that the track is about a million miles away from my notion of what Lolek and Bolek stand for. It's quite literally a ghettoisation of their agrarian adventures, full of inner city attitude, shuffly samples, and a complete disregard for the pre-lapsarian sanctifying of the outdoors. Which is a shame really. But here it is nonetheless. I wonder what Darek will make of it all?


  1. Sounds to me like a load of old BOLEKS.

  2. As you get older those phisical reactions will get stronger. Enjoy. They are the hallmark of a full life.