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DUNAJ

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dunaj

DUNAJ

DUNAJ


Dunaj were an Czech art/alternative rock band from Brno active between 1986 and 1998. The band is notable for its inclusion of Czech rock figureheads Iva Bittová and Pavel Fajt, as well as its own international success and influence on the Czech alternative rock scene. The band's name translates in English to Danube, referring to the river of this name.


Calling themselves Kolektiv, the earliest performances by the group occurred in 1986, based around Bittová and Jiří Kolšovský (vocals), Josef Ostřanský and Pavel Richter (guitars), Vladimír Václavek (bass and guitar), and Fajt (drums). The group, all of whose members were active in other projects, performed only sporadically at the time. In 1989, after the success of the Fajt/Bittová collaborative LP, the members decided to resurrect and record the Kolektiv material. In the process, the group changed their name to Dunaj, released their debut record, Dunaj a Bittová, and performed a handful of well-received concerts


Bittová and Richter left shortly after this period, leaving Kolšovský to both take over on guitar (replacing Richter) and perform the function of lead vocalist and frontman. Zdeněk Plachý also briefly joined as the group's keyboardist, performing on the group's second album, Rosol (Jelly). This dark album was released in 1991 on the Pavian Records label. After performances supporting the record, the band broke up.


The split was short-lived, however, and in 1992 the band reformed under its third and longest-lasting incarnation, based around Kolšovský, Václavek, Ostřanský and new drummer Pavel Koudelka. The band recorded and released its third record, Dudlay, in 1993, followed by 1994's IV.


1995 briefly saw the four current members rejoined by Bittová and Fajt, who re-recorded their debut album, released, along with new material, as Pustit Musis. The band toured in this incarnation prior to returning to the four-piece lineup and recording La La Lai, their final release. The group disbanded in 1998, shortly before the death of Kolšovský. All surviving members remain active in the Czech music scene. In 2002, the group played a series of reunion concerts featuring participation from most past members. Václav Bartoš (of Fajt's group Pluto) replaced Kolšovský for these performances.

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