In late 2002 famous Polish journalist, writer & traveler Max Cegielski gathered a group of friends (Praczas, Szaja & Que Sabroso) to form an ‘oriental’ DJ collective named Masala Soundsystem (Masala = mixture). Their main idea in terms of music was to present a thrilling selection of folk-soaked party tracks from various parts of the world, totally omitted by the ‘mainstream’ media. Their main idea in terms of philosophy was to show that cultural differences between nations and races don't have to be a source of conflicts - they can form basis for a fascinating musical dialogue led in the area of music and common joy instead. And guess what? IT WORKED! :)
In the following years, numerous DJ’s, instrumentalists, vocalists, MC’s, VJ's and dancers from various parts of Polish and international musical scene came across the ranks of Masala. Apart from being a sound system, the collective has become a regular band, releasing 3 LP’s and 3 EP’s full of original, eclectic music. Since its beginning, Masala also received heavy praise from the fans for putting lots of heart into their energetic live performances. As a result, since 2003 the collective played well over 500 parties and concerts, including gigs at the largest and most prestigious Polish festivals (Heineken Open'er, Przystanek Woodstock, etc.) and well-received foreign gigs in Cross Club (Prague, Czech Republic), Colours of Ostrava Festival (Ostrava, Czech Republic), Multi Kulti Festival (Berlin, Germany), Fusion Festival (Dorf-Mecklemburg, Germany), A38 (Budapest, Hungary), KUD France Preseren (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Polenmarkt Festival (Griefswald, Germany), Palace Akropolis (Prague, Czech Republic), Sanskriti Festival (New Delhi, India), Olive Club (New Delhi, India) and more...
Masala records had an impressive impact both on national and international media. It's hit single 'Od Tarnobrzegu Po Bangladesz' released in 2004 was played on heavy rotation in numerous musical televisions and radios around Poland. Similarly, the single tracks released in following years always caught media attention. The band also played two live concerts in Polish Radio Channel Three ('Trójka'), which is one of the most popular radio stations in Poland. Out of Poland, Masala tracks were played Multi-Kulti Radio based in Berlin and by legendary radio DJ's of BBC Asia and BBC1 - Bobby Friction & DJ Nihal. Bobby Friction made an interview with the members of Masala in BBC Asia after the release of 'Cały Ten Świat' album in 2008. 'As One (Tom Encore Remix)' of 'Inny Świat' remix album was a power play of DJ Nihal's BBC1 show in early 2011. It was also included in a podcast mixed by legendary Glasgow-based punjabi collective Tigerstyle.
How can Masala’s sound can be described shortly? It’s a clash of traditional, oriental string instruments with the modern sounds of turntablism and synths. A confrontation of the oriental drums like darabuka or dhol with drum synths or beatbox. A meeting of throat singing from Tuva with contemporary conscious urban poetry rhymed or sung by an MC. Masala gathers masters of various musical genres and techniques, who seemed very unlikely to come together. However the final result proves that they are more than able to co-operate in a perfect harmony to create something extraordinary. There is no other band bringing such an insane plan into life. From dub melancholy to the crazy energy of electro, dancehall, breakbeat and drum’n’bass, from East to West, from the past to the future, from Tarnobrzeg to Bangladesh. Total Masala!