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HOKR

Eclectic Prog • Czech Republic


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Hokr biography
HOKR was formed in 1979 in Prague, Czechoslovakia, by Pavel Cermak (keyboards, vocals), his younger brother Petr Cermak (drums), who emigrated to USA in 1985, Vit Novak-Rosnecky (bass) and Petr 'Hadzi' Hrkal (bass). Vladimir Liska (vocals, lyrics) joined in 1980. During 1979-82 the members operated as the two simultaneous bands HOKR 1 and HOKR 2 and from 1986 to 1999 many personell changes happened until finally they disbanded in 1999.

Around 1981 HOKR attempted to get the required official permission for performing in public. However, the authorities refused to grant it due to the nonconforming musical style and lyrics. Nevertheless during 1979-1985 the band succeeded in organizing about 15 'unofficial' performances in and around Prague, mainly for friends and friends of friends.

Live recordings from several of these concerts are existing, but all are of a very low sound recording quality
'Chemická' - 1982
'U zelené záby' - 1982
'Na Chmelnici' - 1985
'Na Jurečku' - 1982
'Pařízská, 15 let výročí' - 1994

In 2002 most of the original members decided to make a studio recording of music composed by HOKR between 1979 and 1985 and produced the album 'Hokrova Vila' during two sessions in 2003/2004.

HOKR has a unique style which is originated first of all by Vladimir Liska's native vocals and Pavel Cermak's dramatic keyboard work - recommended czech underground progressive rock.

HOKR members 1979 - 1999:
Pavel Cermak - keyboards, vocals (1979-99)
Petr Cermak - drums (1979-85)
Vit Novak-Rosnecky - bass (1979-82, HOKR 1)
Petr 'Hadzi' Hrkal - bass (1979-99, HOKR 2)
Vladimir Liska - vocals, lyrics (1980-84, HOKR 2)
Standa Zemlicka - violin (1982, HOKR 1)
Vojta Havel - cello (1982, HOKR 1)
Richard Slach - sax, guitar (1983-86)
Ladislav Jakl - vocals, drums (1985-99)
Jiri Bily - vocals
Vlado Kanuk - guitar, flute
Ivan Michal - drums

Hokr official website

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Buy HOKR Music


Hokrova VilaHokrova Vila
Audio CD$16.00
Zahrate Brzdy OptimismuZahrate Brzdy Optimismu
Ears & Wind Records
Audio CD$16.00

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HOKR discography


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HOKR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Skvrny
1991
3.91 | 3 ratings
Hokrova Vila
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sulcu Porce (as Pocoloco)
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Zahráté brzdy optimismu
2012

HOKR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HOKR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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HOKR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

HOKR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hokrova Vila by HOKR album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.91 | 3 ratings

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Hokrova Vila
Hokr Eclectic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Czech underground progressive rock ...

This is music originally composed and developed under difficult circumstances in Czechoslowakia between 1979 and 1985. As also known from other countries of the Eastern bloc the authorities only had an interest in music that matched with their dictatorial beliefs. HOKR had a nonconforming musical style and lyrics - tolerated for a while but not officially legalized and therefore the band was an underground insider's tip. But nevertheless they managed to organize several unofficial live performances in and around Prague at that time. Probably this is the reason why HOKR's music is somewhat dramatic.

Now meanwhile drummer Petr Cermák emigrated to USA and Czechoslowakia later was split in two parts and therefore doesn't exist anymore. In 2002 the band members decided to come together again to produce their former stuff as a remake. 'Hokrova Vila' is the essence of the new recordings and they can be proud of it with reason.

The album is a blend of symphonic, heavy and jazzy rocking parts with several melancholic emotional sections. Noticable of course (especially for non Czech) are Vladimír Liska's unusual native vocals which are often near to a recitative style. And he also delivers a crazy chicken intro for Na Dvore - by all means a special highlight which attracted attention here during the evaluation period of the band. Keyboarder Pavel Cermák uses an Ensoniq synthesizer which often sounds midway between hammond and mellotron and he is predominantly responsible for the dramatic mood.

If someone is missing guitars in the main line-up the band is able to point out several cello contributions as a compensation though - except the last song. Furthermore HOKR includes nice saxophone additions here and there. The album starts with the instrumental Tomcat (sorry for using the english translations) somewhat classic symphonic with cello and undergoing several changes in the course further on. We have a wonderful floating grooving part included inspired by bass player Vítek Novák-Rosnecký.

Mouse in a trance and Sorrow of the deflowered virgins are having a more jazzy/fusion character with several mood changes whereas Skin lotion with a rumbling bass and Voice of WC are heavy rocking songs with Liska's impressive contributions. The zappaesque Who rules over the stains shows a long mellow, gripping begin and Fallacy No. 64 is full of intense hammond similar keyboard parts which explodes at the end. They seem to be the most emotional songs for the band.

Some translations of the lyrics with concealed messages are given on their website and based on the titles I'm quite sure the tracks are referring to their experiences in Czechia. The same for the last song The Cell where Pavel Cermák's keyboard sounds symphonic, near to funfair carousel music.

'Hokrova Vila' offers us a unique sound - a discovery for every prog fan in any case - recommended!

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