by Alex Henderson ( Throughout Eastern Europe, the fall of communism had a profound impact on contemporary pop and world music. From Poland to Hungary to Russia, a variety of chance-taking artists made their presence felt in the '90s, artists who were likely to be influenced by rock, funk, dance-pop, jazz, or even hip-hop. The Czech Republic also had a healthy pop scene in the '90s. New independent labels went into business and a lot of interesting new groups were formed. One of the many interesting acts that came out of the post-communist Czech music scene of the '90s was the quintet Benedikta. Formed in 1997, the group is led by two sisters: lead singer Petra Vánová (who sings in the Czech language) and violinist/background singer Misa Vá nová. Benedikta's other members are guitarist Honza Kresta, bassist Jarek Janek, and drummer Patrik Benek. While the Czech Republic still has its share of artists who exclusively play traditional Czech music, the Vánová sisters and their male colleagues are more modern in their approach. Benedikta combines Czech folk elements with everything from rock, funk, and jazz to Jewish music (including klezmer, a Jewish form that came out of Eastern Europe before making its way to the United States). In the early 2000s, Benedikta signed with Indies Records, a small independent label that is based in Brno, Czech Republic, and goes back to 1990 -- in fact, Indies was formed not long after the fall of communism in that country. Sejdeme Se v Dolly, Benedikta's first Indies album, was released in 2001.


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