Polish Psychedelic Rock: A Brief History

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Polish psychedelic rock is a fascinating but little-known genre. In this post, we explore its history, from the early days of rock in Poland to the present day.

Psychedelic Rock in Poland

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as “acid rock”, is a style of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The style is characterized by distorted guitars, trippy effects, and heavy use of feedback. Psychedelic rock was a major force in the development of the Polish music scene, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s.

Early History

Psychedelic rock first made its appearance in Poland in the late 1960s, with bands such as Niebiesko-Czarni, Machina and SBB drawing inspiration from Western acts like Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Santana. These early Polish psychedelic groups were largely influenced by the garage rock and beat music of the time, and their sound was characterized by heavy use of electric guitars and keyboards, often with a distinctly Eastern European flavor.

During the 1970s, Polish psychedelic rock began to take on a more progressive direction, with bands like Edward Giedymin’s Breakout and Krzysztof Penderecki’s avant-garde jazz-rock group rehearsing complex pieces that incorporated elements of classical music. This new wave of Polish psychedelia reached its peak in the early 1980s with the formation of Tzujszo Fejszo, a supergroup that featured members of some of the country’s most popular bands.

Despite their popularity, Polish psychedelic rock bands were often censored by the country’s Communist government, which saw their music as a potential tool for subversion. As a result, many of these groups were only able to release their music on underground cassettes or bootleg vinyl recordings.

The 1960s

The 1960s were a turbulent time for Poland. Political and economic unrest led to the rise of the Solidarity movement in the 1980s, which eventually sparked the fall of communism in Europe. During this time, Polish rock music underwent a transformation from American-influenced pop to a more experimental sound.

Psychedelic rock, or psytrance, is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s. Psychedelic rock is characterized by expanded consciousness, altered perceptions of reality, and often times Mając na uwadze wydarzenia tamtego okresu, nie jest zaskakujące, że muzyka polskiego rocka przeszła podobną metamorfozę. A subgenre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s, psychedelic rock is characterized by expanded consciousness, altered perceptions of reality, and often times Mając na uwadze wydarzenia tamtego okresu psychedelic experiences. In Poland, psychedelic rock was influenced by Western pop and jazz music, as well as Eastern European folk music. The first Polish psychedelic band was Niebiesko-Czarni (The Blue-Blacks), who formed in 1966 and released their debut album Psychedelia in 1967.

Other notable Polish psychedelic bands from the 1960s include SBB (Silesian Blues Band) and Breakout. Both bands incorporated elements of blues and jazz into their sound, as well as Eastern European folk music. SBB’s 1974 album Follow My Voice is considered one of the best Polish albums of all time.

The 1970s

Psychedelic rock in Poland first appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with bands such as Niebiesko-Czarni, Breakout, and SBB beginning to experiment with longer song structures, complex arrangements, and a wider range of instruments than was typical of rock music at the time. These bands were inspired by Anglo-American psychedelic and progressive rock groups such as The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Polish psychedelic rock reached its peak of popularity in the late 1970s with bands such as APOKRYFY, Maanam, Dżem, and Turbo regularly appearing on national television and radio. This period also saw the rise of the “Polish jazz rock” subgenre, with groups such as Krzak (one of the first Polish bands to use a wah-wah pedal) blending jazz improvisation with rock aesthetics.

By the early 1980s, however, Polish psychedelic rock was in decline due to changing musical tastes (including the rise of new wave music) and increasing government repression under the communist regime. Nevertheless, some bands continued to produce excellent music in this style throughout the decade; notable examples include Oddział Zamknięty and Pierwszy Taniec Na Plaży.

Polish Psychedelic Rock Bands

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as “psychedelia”, is a diverse style of rock music that originated in the late 1960s. It was inspired by psychedelic culture, which is a subculture that promotes the use of psychedelic drugs. The style is characterized by distorted guitars, feedback, and extreme levels of reverb.


SBB was formed in 1971 in Częstochowa, Poland, by multi-instrumentalists Józef Skrzek and Jerzy Piotrowski. After relocating to Germany, the band recorded their debut album, Nowy Horyzont, in 1974. The album was influenced by the works of Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa, and featured extended instrumental passages and new acoustic sounds. SBB became one of the most popular Polish rock bands of the 1970s, with their second album, Follow My Dream, selling over one million copies.


Polish psychedelic rock experienced a brief but vibrant period in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While the country was under communist rule, western music was generally discouraged. However, a few intrepid musicians managed to find ways to access and perform western music, including psychedelic rock.

One of the most famous Polish psychedelic rock bands was Breakout, which formed in 1966. The band became well-known for their dynamic live shows and their innovative musical style. They were one of the first Polish bands to experiment with electronic instruments and effects, and their music was heavily influenced by western artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Cream. Breakout disbanded in 1974, but their influence can still be heard in the work of contemporary Polish musicians.


Dzem is a Polish psychedelic rock band that was active in the 1980s and early 1990s. The band was formed in 1984 by brothers Wojciech and Jacek Milo, and they were quickly joined by singer Paweł Krawczyk. Dzem’s music is rooted in traditional Polish folk music, but with a heavy dose of rock & roll energy. They are perhaps best known for their hit song “Jedna Noc w Warsaw”, which was featured in the 1990 film The Pianist.

After releasing a series of successful albums, Dzem parted ways with Krawczyk in 1992 and disbanded shortly thereafter. In recent years, they have reunited for a series of reunion shows and continue to be one of the most popular Polish rock bands of all time.

Polish Psychedelic Rock Today

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. Although the genre is associated with Western bands such as the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, there was a strong psychedelic rock scene in Poland during the 1960s and 1970s.

Contemporary Bands

In recent years, a new generation of Polish musicians has been influenced by the sounds of the 1960s and 70s, resulting in a revival of psychedelic rock. Here are some contemporary bands keeping the psychedelic flame alive in Poland today.

* Jaguarete – Jagurete is a five-piece band from Warsaw that formed in 2010. Their sound is a mix of classic rock and 60s psychedelia, with elements of krautrock and prog thrown in for good measure.

* Myslovitz – Myslovitz is one of the most successful Polish bands of the past 20 years. They started out as an indie rock band in the 90s, but their sound has evolved over time to encompass elements of psychedelia, dream pop, and shoegaze.

* Stara Rzeka – Stara Rzeka is the solo project of Warsaw-based musician Kuba Ziołek. Drawing from a wide range of influences including ambient music, folk, and black metal, his music has a distinctly meditative quality.

* Baaba – Baaba is a four-piece band from Wrocław that formed in 2013. Their sound combines psych-rock with elements of post-punk, noise rock, and krautrock.

The Legacy of Polish Psychedelic Rock

Polish psychedelic rock is often associated with the communist era, when the country was known as the People’s Republic of Poland. While it’s true that many of the most famous bands from this time period were influenced by communist politics, what is often overlooked is the fact that these bands were also influenced by Western popular culture, specifically the music scene in England.

The first Polish psychedelic band was Niebiesko-Czarni, who formed in 1966 and released their debut album in 1967. They were followed by SBB, who are considered by many to be the most important Polish psychedelic band. Formed in 1971, they released their debut album in 1972 and quickly became one of the most popular bands in Poland. Other important bands from this era include Breakout, Dzieci Kimon, and Apollo 440.

The legacy of Polish psychedelic rock continued into the new millennium with a new generation of bands carrying on the tradition. These include TPAU, Muzyka Końca Lata, and Mazut.

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