Monday, January 18, 2021
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Music Reviews

Artur Rumiński: AR (Untitled)

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Artist: Artur Rumiński (@)
Title: AR (Untitled)
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: * * * * *
Artur Rumiski is a guitar player which is active both as a member of ambient/drone/black metal bands (Arrm, Thaw, Furia, Gruzja, Mentor) and as a solo artist. While his bands are more or less revolving aroundmetal, his solo music can be classified as minimalism because it's based upon layers of guitars mostly using reverb, echo and delay. The result is something in between psychedelia and ambient.
As "I" starts the listener is surrounded by a guitar drone full of resonances which is juxtaposed by spacious arpeggios, "II" is instead based on a sort of counterpoint for guitar lines, "III" is pure reverberated guitar chords and "IIII" uses guitar layers reinforcing themselves. "IIIII" is a spacious guitar drone and "IIIIII" is a meditative psychedelic track. "W SOSNOWCU" closes this release with a noisy abstract track.
While this release could be superficially classified as a rehash of already known forms, the balance of writing, the sense of proportion and the diversity of solutions make this release a small gem of composition. Truly recommended for all fans of minimalism.



Krzywdy: Czary

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Artist: Krzywdy
Title: Czary
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: * * * * *
"Czary" is the first full length release of this artist, Mateusz Szymaski, whose music is a blend of ambient and folk music. The titles of the track reveals the influence of the Norse mythology according to the Edda. From the Ginnungap to Ragnarok it seems that he wants to portray the cicle of life.
The first track, "Ginnungagap", stars with the field recordings of a thunderstorm and evolves in a drone that is resolved in a sort of mantra. "Mdrca Sowa I" is slowly evolving ambient track where the whispered voices add a religious element. "Wichry Skalne" is a charming neofolk track based on subtle vocal lines while "Mdrca Sowa II" is almost solemn in its development. "Ragnarok" closes this release with a rhythmic slow crescendo which builds a tension ending a slow fading.
The strongest point of this release is the its originality as it sounds like anything in the current ambient scene, so the listener gets some fresh air. Moreover, the folk elements can attract a larger audience than the fans of the genre. Truly recommended.



Different State: Enormous Components of Motor Unit vol. 2

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Artist: Different State
Title: Enormous Components of Motor Unit vol. 2
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: * * * * *

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This album if the follow-up of last year's "Enormous Components of Motor Unit vol. 1" and marks a little change in style; while the first part was rooted in the song form, this one is mostly instrumental and more experimental in nature. Here the lyrics seems to have a less prominent role and the focus is on the construction of a sound which is catchy but not easy listening.
The solid beat of "Raccoon and an owl" introduce the listener toward something that as experimental as danceable while "Totem" is close to a field recording experiment. The first proper track of this release, "The shades", oscillates between a minimal framework and awkward and elaborated intermissions. These oscillations continue along the flow of the release and maintain high the listener's attention as every track has something different from the others. The last three track, "Crumbling under the feet of angels", "Not be translated" and "Gain more clarity", close this release creating a sort of experimental pop song.
While in the first volume the two poles of this form were separated, in this volume a real hybrid is presented to the listener as the album progresses, and this marks one of the most personal release of the year. Truly recommended.



Natt: A Better Place

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Artist: Natt
Title: A Better Place
Format: CD
Label: Zoharum (@)
Distributor: Alchembria
Rated: * * * * *
Natt is one half of Dren, whose "Time & Form" was reviewed on this pages last year, and this release describes him as the industrial side of the duo. "A Better Place" is an EP mostly focused on the stream of post industrial based on loop and field sounds and has a to to black metal, as hinted in the artwork, in aim to push the boundaries of the genre.

The first track, "Tanzmusik", opens this release with a slow and heavy beat and a noisy loop which are the foundation of a track which evolves in a balance between stillness and movement as dynamics and space are used to build a musical development. "A Better Place" is instead less industrial and more oriented towards an hypnotic form based on repetition and loops vaguely reminiscent of Meddle East's sound. "An End in Itself" is a menacing track were the loops evolves with a subtle sonic development. "Can't Make New Memories" closes this release with a quiet and slow melodic line which is an effective sonic departure from the other tracks while maintaining the same structure so it maintains cohesion.

This is a release more oriented towards the construction of an atmosphere rather than on musical development, so fans of this music will appreciate this release and wait for the full length release. A really nice release.



François Carrier, Michel Lambert, Tomek Gadecki, Marcin Bozek: Wide

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During the years François Carrier has released a number of release with whom has established himself as an interesting voice in Free Jazz. This new album documents a concert at MÓZG in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and features the canonical duo of François Carrier and Michel Lambert in a dialogue with Tomek Gadecki and Marcin Bozek which has the task to add a sense of novelty to the whole.
The concert is divided in three section: "Wide" revolves around the dialogue between alto and tenor saxophone with the rhythmic section as a support, at least for the first part, until a solo interlude by Carrier introduces the second half of the track where the use of the french horn by Bozek marks a section where there's a slight timbre research juxtaposed to a call and response. The third part is a return to the form of the first part. "Radiancy" is a movement from an almost lyrical first part based on slow melodic lines by the saxophones to a second part based of faster lines which give musical space to the rhythmic section to escape from the role of accompanyment. "Leeway" lasts just over half an hour and ebbs and flows between quiet and fast moments and shows, apart from the technical skills, the players sense of measure to give a moment for everyone.
Even without any particular novelty in its form, this release transmits the joy of playing together of the artist and this quirk, in times of inflexible individualism, get some fresh air to the listener. Recommended for fans of free jazz.