The Team

UNEARTHING THE MUSIC: Sound and Creative Experimentation in Non-democratic Europe

Unearthing The Music relies on a core team of in-the-field researchers and collectors, each of them having a unique background and a firm interest in the music coming from behind the Iron Curtain. They will also get in touch with everyone that wants to collaborate or participate in the project and help gather relevant materials that come up in personal or institutional archives and collections.

Alexander PehlemannAlexei BorisovLucia UdvardyováDaniel MuzyczukRudiger RitterPaula Guerra

Alexander Pehlemann, born 1969 in Berlin/East, is a music journalist, author, editor, compiler, curator and organiser, but sometimes dj, producer and sound system selecta too.

In 1993 he founded Zonic, a fanzine which later turned into an almanac, subtitled “cultural views from the margins & moments of involvement“, that found its special field in exploring the (former and now lost) underground scenes in Central and Eastern Europe.

Based on this in 2006 the so called Zonic Spezial serial started off. First came “Spannung. Leistung. Widerstand. Magnetbanduntergrund DDR 1979-1990″(2006, Verbrecher Verlag/ZickZack: GDR underground between punk, poetry and performance art, with interviews and essays and for the first time recordings of the Eastgerman tape scene on two CDs), second “Go Ost! Klang – Zeit – Raum. Reisen in die Subkulturzonen Osteuropas” (2014, Ventil Verlag/ Eastblok Music/ZickZack: a hyperpersonal approach to subcultures from the East, accompanied by a compilation with sounds from 1982 to 2013) and most recently “1984! Block an Block. Subkulturen im Orwell-Jahr” (2015, Ventil Verlag: subcultures in the very Orwellian year in both blocs and in bloc free Yugoslavia).

Besides this he is co-organiser of the PolenmARkT festival in Greifswald since 2000 and in 2009 he made the compilation “Polska Rootz. Beats, Dubs, Mixes and Future Folk From Poland“ (Eastblok Music). He is living in Leipzig, where he co-runs the Kulturny Dom Lipsk/Salon Similde and as part of NSK Staat Lipsk is trying to establish the Neue Sorbische Kunst.

Alexei Borisov is a musician, composer, sound artist, event organizer, and journalist.

Born in 1960 in Moscow, he started his music career in late 70s, playing with local new-wave, electro-pop and industrial bands (The Centre, The Prospekt, Notchnoi Prospekt). In the late 80s he moved to a more experimental sound realm, mixing noise, free improvisation, field recordings, spoken word and techno, amongst other possible genres.

He collaborates with many Russian and international musicians, projects, artists, dance and theatre companies; participates solo and with different projects at many international festivals (Sonar, Avanto, Phonotaktik, CTM, The Morning Line, FIMAV, SKIF and many others), tours in Europe, North America and China. His discography contains more than 100 albums and compilations, released in Russia and other countries.

During the 80s-2000s Borisov worked for different radio stations in USSR and Russia, and wrote for lifestyle and music magazines in Russia and abroad.


Lucia Udvardyová is a music journalist and event organiser. In 2010, together with Peter Gonda, she co-founded Easterndaze, a project that aims to document and interconnect the emerging underground scenes in Central and Eastern Europe.

Together Udvardyová and Gonda run a music label called Baba Vanga. She has collaborated with Czech Radio, Resonance FM, The Quietus, Electronic Beats, and Ad Hoc, among others. Between April and June 2015, she curated an exhibition series of events introducing several labels and collectives from Central and Eastern Europe at the OFF Biennale in Budapest. She also works for SHAPE (Sound, Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe), a pan-European festival initiative that promotes innovative music and audiovisual art.

Daniel Muzyczuk is the Head of the Modern Art Department at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź. Curator of numerous projects, such as: Gone to Croatan (with Robert Rumas), MORE IS MORE (with Agnieszka Pindera and Joanna Zielińska), Melancholy of resistance (with Agnieszka Pindera), Views 2011, Sounding the Body ElectricExperiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957–1984 (with David Crowley), Notes from the Underground: Eastern European Alternative Art and Music Scene 1968–1994 (with David Crowley) and Museum of Rhythm (with Natasha Ginwala). Co-curator of the Polish Pavillion for the 55th Venice Biennale (with Agnieszka Pindera). He is the winner (together with Agnieszka Pindera) of the Igor Zabel Competition in 2011 and the Vice-president of AICA Poland.

Rüdiger Ritter, PhD, born in 1966, 1985 to 1991 studies in East European history, musicology and philosophy in Mainz, Dijon, Köln, Wolgograd and Krakau, 2002 Ph.D (“Music for the nation: Stanisław Moniuszko in the Polish National Movement”, in German). Research in the projects “West-Eastern Images. The German image of Russians and the Russian image of Germans” (universities Wuppertal and Köln), “Collective Identity and History in post-socialist discourses: Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine” (university of Bremen), “Americans in Bremerhaven” (Museum of the 50ies Bremerhaven), “Opposition by cultural transfer – Jazz in the Eastern Bloc“, (Freie Universität Berlin), “Discourses on Europe in Polish drugi obieg periodicals” (Forschungsstelle Osteuropa Bremen). Actual research project: “Productive misunderstandings. The reception of Willis Conover’s radio broadcast “Music USA – Jazz Hour” in the former Eastern Bloc.” Main research topics are: connections of music and politics in East and East Central Europe (Poland, Czech and Slovak republics, Hungary, Baltics, Russia / Soviet Union) from the beginning of the 19th century, history of jazz and radio, oppositional movements in the Eastern Bloc. Most important publications include:  Musik für die Nation. Der Komponist Stanisław Moniuszko (1819 – 1872) in der polnischen Nationalbewegung des 19. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt / Main u. a.: Lang,  2005); Politics, History and Collective Memory in East Central Europe, (together with Zdzisław Krasnodębski  and  Stefan Garsztecki, Hamburg: Krämer, 2012); Broadcasting Jazz into the Eastern Bloc—Cold War Weapon or Cultural Exchange? The Example of Willis Conover (Jazz Perspectives 7,2, 2014).


Paula Guerra is a PhD in Sociology from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto (FLUP). She is an Associate Professor on the Department of Sociology of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto, and Researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the same University (IS-UP), where currently she coordinates the subgroup Artistic Creation, cultural practices and policies. She is founder and coordinator of the network Todas as Artes: Rede Luso-Afro-Brasileira de Sociologia da Cultura e das Artes [All the Arts: Luso-Afro-Brazilian Network of the Sociology of Culture and the Arts]. She is also member of the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change and of the Research Network Sociology of the Arts of the European Sociological Association.  She coordinates several national and international research projects subordinated to the youth cultures, sociology of the arts and culture. She is a member of the editorial council of several national and international journals, as well as editor and reviewer of several articles and books on a national and international level. She co-authored (alongside Andy Bennett) the book DIY cultures and underground music scenes (Oxford: Routledge, 2017), and has recently published the following books: Redefining art worlds in the late modernity (University of Porto, 2016), More than loud (Porto: Afrontamento, 2015), On the road to the American underground (University of Porto, 2015), As Palavras do Punk [The words of punk] (Lisbon: Alêtheia, 2015), More than loud (Porto: Afrontamento, 2013), A instável leveza do rock [The unstable lightness of rock] (Porto: Afrontamento, 2013). She is also author of numerous articles published in national and international journals of reference: Journal of Sociology; Popular Music and Society; European Journal of Cultural Studies; Critical Arts; Portuguese Journal of Social Sciences; Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas; Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais.