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Konrad Kucz | Railroad pathsBestseller Good priceAfter a heavy, syncretic and tenebrously ambient album in Vita Contemplativa Litania,
Konrad Kuczstrikes full shot by offering a splendid album filled of vintage moods and sonorities. Railroad Paths is bordering an analog world where fragrances of
Jean Michel Jarreand
Tangerine Dreammarinate on lively structures with rhythms in constant movements of duality. Interchangeable structures where the ambient espouses with wonder rhythms and sonorities of French EM of the 70's (
Fervant) that meet precepts of Berlin School style a'la
A beautiful flute harmonizes its melody on a rivulet which scintillates in opening of Path I. The notes are high and draw arch poetries on a musical canvas of enchanting forest. A synth wraps of its sinuous waves this ode of Centaur, bringing it in underground dens. There where beautiful musical hoops undulate, forgetting the rhythm and running gracefully on a linear movement. A movement that perspires heavy synth waves. They swarm in a powerful tuneful work of art where h2 layers of a dark organ shape its movements in a maelstrom filled up of baroques and sinister choirs, before concluding in a sound din with analog eddies. A long black intro, ambient and sinuous which frees its cadenced anger on Path II with a synth with hems which roll in jerked loops, of which the meshing of ferrules moulds a sequence undulating below a sky overcasts of sonorities as analog as motleys. This train of intermingled sequences follows its race under beautiful wavering layers, finishing its race in a honeyed quietude, where choirs and chirping form a nectar of serenity. Path III is more powerful with its chords which spin in cascade on zigzagging spirals. A strange syncretic ballet on a heavy movement which embraces more ventilated and definitely more progressive tangent, pointing out the universe of
Heldonwith its percussions which hammer a very cosmic rock beat and its vocodor which sounds so much like
Richard Pinhason East-West. A good piece of music that adds to
Railroad Paths'multi dimensionality.
Path IV offers a superb sequenced structure which rolls like a train under superb synth solos. Solos which wave and zigzag with a very beautiful dexterity, recalling the synth and sequence synchronism of
Klaus Schulze. In constant progression, the rhythm plunges in a sparkling mellotron softness before taking up again the rhythmic rise identical to Path III intro, in order to plunges again in the hazes of dense and black mellotron with whining layers. A wonderful track that will wake up lot of ear memories for the music lovers of the 70's. Path V opens with a beautiful mellotron pad which extends its coat until the first 3 minutes.Thereafter, an undulating rhythm curves a structure filled up of fog. A fog which is dissipating, letting foresees a rhythmic anarchy which curls under flutes of a hybrid mellotron. A track where the rhythm pains to pierce the density of a mellotron with thick fog and bewitching flute before concluding in the half-lights from a train running off the line beneath
Tangerine Dreammisty fragrances. With its mechanical rhythm and its hyper melodious vocodor, a little bit a'la
Kraftwerk, Robotic Missions is out of keys from this enchanting universe that surrounds Railroad Paths. But still there,
Konrad Kucztergiversates between the simple melody and rhythmic complexities which pullulate on this brilliant opus that is Railroad Paths. A quite simply genius album from the Polish synthesist, whose only defect is to have passed unperceived. Thing that, I hope, this chronicle will try to correct.
Konrad Kucz'last album was one of the best ambient CDs I had heard in a long time. When this one dropped through my letterbox I was expecting more of the same. This however is nothing like it's predecessor in style as now instead of exquisite sonic soundscapes we get a blistering Berlin School tour de force! A gorgeous relaxed bubbling sequence merges with lovely peaceful flute on the first of five "Paths". We then get a storm surge which combines with the mutating sequence to create a feeling of grandeur. Sounds swell to majestic proportions gaining an almost euphoric spiritual quality. This really is superb stuff, a little like a mixture of
Jarre. The second Path erupts with a rapid deep bass sequence of almost earthquake proportions. It morphs wonderfully as whooshing electronics fly from channel to channel. A second higher register sequence flashes over the top. From this highly exciting almost manic track we move on to the third Path. Again a heavy but steady bass sequence provides the initial structure around which more pulsations begin to weave. There is a grungy almost growling mid section through which the patterns evolve, re-emerging with a rhythmic backing and vocoded speech (which didn't really work for me). The fourth Path starts with what could be the sounds of a railway siding, gorgeous soft pads completing a misty early morning picture. Just when I thought we were going to get a more abstract piece however a fantastic sequence bubbles forward like an unstoppable force. The track just gets better and better with equally impressive lead line creating the ideal backing for playing air keyboard. There are elements that reminded me of
Fanger & Schonwalder. In the sixth minute we return to atmospherics out of which emerges a new sequence, though this time more swirling and mystical. It's all change again a couple of minutes later as yet more sequences are urged into action but again they are only making a fleeting visit before we enter a lovely, almost early
Vangelislike section, tron pads mixing with moody lead. What a wonderful track this is. The final Path returns us to twittering cosmic effects and solar winds. Uplifting pads swell creating a similar mood to the latter stages of the opener. A slow thoughtful sequence provides a little structure as things become quite moody. These pulsations are very quickly replaced by a new pattern as we meander first one way then another. We now enter a rather percussive section out of which float soothing mellotron pads which take us close to the end, finishing with yet more metallic percussion. The last track Robotic Missions is labeled as a "bonus" presumably because it is not one of the Paths. I suppose the
Kraftwerkfeel is intentional- all rather upbeat and body moving. Nothing like anything else on the album but really catchy complete with more vocoded speech (which I thought really worked well this time). A superb track and indeed I would love to hear more of what
Konrad Kuczdoes in this style.
David Law - Neu Harmony
The optimistic opening of the album reminds me somehow of
Kraftwerk'sTrans Europa Express introduction - perhaps it is just a suggestion awoken by the title Railroad Paths. Soon there comes the leading voice, weaving its layers upon the electronic meanders of the introduction theme - the mood changes into rainy sadness. The music becomes very suggestive here: the Listener observes, what happens on the screen of his train window, now there are familiar objects there, painted with the rising voice of the leading sequencer, then there are shapes turning to abstract stains, marked with some loose pulsations in the sixth minute of the track. Along with the second part of the suite, we experience a slight increase of speed, the weather outside is getting worse, it still grows darker, and in the end of this marvellous composition we find ourselves in a crossroad soundscape covered with grey dust of the lamentation of "mellotron choirs", which make as great an impression as an instrumental ambient track Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats by
Genesis. The Listener expects some change, although she is not sure, what comes next - there it is, a ferreous ostinato of the third piece, intermingling with a sort of an electronic coloratura, bringing a very nice yet nostalgic motif. Not even four minutes have elapsed, and we can hear the percussion line and some advanced key changes. Apart from that, we now have a new companion in our journey, a nice vocoder part. Path 4 is the longest composition of the set, and somehow the plot point of
Kucz'sconcept album. The Path 3-sequence comes back with its mature structures, but this time we will reach the tune coming from some other direction and by slightly different weather The final path is no doubt in close relationship with its Berlin predecessors, it appeals with dreamy soundscapes reminding of the foggy Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares by
Tangerine Dream. At the end, there appears a filtered sound of train wheels rolling, which makes us go into trance. The last two minutes of Path 5 bring sunlight and optimism at long last The "bonus track" embodied by Robotic Missions would be an ideal A-side to the single promoting Railroad Paths. It is a short, dynamic piece of music, filled up with percussive sweeps and grooves, vocoder vocal line, stereophonic tricks throughout the metallic sequences. Last but not least, what we can hear here is a hit-like melody sounding as if it was dedicated especially to devoted
Kraftwerkfans! Railroad Paths is a fantastic album, the other face of
Konrad Kuczafter the quiet and meditative Vita Contemplativa Litania.
Railroad Paths by Polish composer
Konrad Kuczcontains lots of beautifully rendered vintage sounds and choir textures, fx's and sequences, which almost immediately made my mind wander back to the great analogue days of the late '70s. The music is split in five "paths", which creates a great moody atmosphere, featuring some very nice mellotron strings. After the tasty 10-minute introductory track, Path 3 starts off with heavy sequencing, later shifting to a rhythmic piece with some nice vocoder vocals, while Path 4 features some great Berliner School sequencing with Schulzian '70s soloing on top as the trains pass by on the background. The ending of the piece with mellotron strings evokes a h2 sense of nostalgia.
The final Path 5 sounds a bit more disturbing between the lofty textures and mellotron flute melodies, while the metallic sounds bring
Kraftwerk'sTrans Europa Express to mind.
As a bonus, the four minute
KraftwerkianRobotic Missions is a dynamic, poppy track with vocoder vocals , but a bit out of place here in my opinion.
All in all, Railroad Paths is a well composed, produced and mastered album keenly fusing vintage sounds with contemporary techniques. Nicely done, Konrad!
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Yarek | Noc na zamkuBestseller Good price
This seems to be a live recording (part of the Polish event "Olsztyńskie Lato Artystyczne 2007") although it overall sounds like a studio work. The album offers eight tracks of intense, fresh, versatile Berliner School, slightly Redshift-oriented sequencing and lush solo voices. The third piece La Orkestra accelerates into fourth gear, as the well rendered electronics, beats and rhythms venture into dance/trance territory as Tangerine Dream's Kiew Mission kindred vocal samples pass by through the sonic spectrum. Vocal phrases and breathing sounds mingled with holdback electronics slow things down again on Ambient II.
The following piece Live is made up of repetitive, mid-tempo paced hypnotic sequencer structures over which trance-like solo voices freely hover, as a dance beat shortly kicks in halfway. Ambient once begins with the Kiew Mission kindred vocal samples, after which stereophonic wide spread trancy sequencing, clicking rhythms and a lofty solo-voice set things in pleasant mid-tempo motion.
Berlin comes next, featuring breathing sounds, Spyra and Jarre - flavoured sequencing structures and beats, topped by a Oxygene pt1 - reminiscent solo. Misja na marsa closes the almost 50-minute album with powerful, in-your-face sequencing, Kraftwerkian voices and beats, with nice vintage sounds fading away at the end.
Although the origin of this recording raises some questions, this sure is a dynamic, sparkling and well produced release that will please the ears of lots of electronic music fans out there.
Bert Strolenberg www.sonicimmersion.org
One short announcement - we get to know, how the artist and his work is called - and there immediately slide the first tangerine-brownish lights onto the stage. The first part of the suite brings fantastic sequencing in a bit of a Redshift-style, especially as far as attractive semitones and jarring sequencer sounds are concerned. Mrok ("Dusk") is based on a hypnotising sequence, intermingling with electronically generated sweeps, washes and murky "breathing" sounds. Here, like in the previous title, all tracks are very attentively arranged, one should also pay attention to the wide stereophonic field of the impression. La Orkestra means a certain increase in speed and an introduction of the beats: generally, the atmosphere conjured up here has something in common with both parts of Xangadix by Pino and Wildjamin, however, you will still find here more sequencing stuff as typical acid or trance. Voice samples, which could be associated with Kiev Mission by Tangerine Dream, make for an interesting background and also for the rhythmization of the piece in a way. It's those voices that bridge La Orkestra and the following piece Ambient 2. "Ambient"-style lurking beneath this title has - what a pleasant surprise - much in common with vinyl Frankfurt ambient of the mid 90's. Live consists mainly of hypnotising rhythm patterns, appealing ostinatos in mid-tempo, and further sounds and noises as if coming from a secret abandoned rocket station, hidden deep under the cellar rooms of the castle. Everything here sounds rusty, yesteryear- and future-explorative at the same time. In Ambient, the Listener will be served some Berlin patterns once more, but also this time they just sound fascinating and fresh. Berlin could be understood as a title suggestion, where the goal of our next musical journey is, and still it is by far not the most "Berlin-like" composition on the whole album: if at all, we will be exploring rather a Spyra-side of Berlin (whereas Spyra himself comes from Kassel) than the corners described by Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream. The final track Misja na Marsa (Mission to Mars) is a pretty long piece, in which there is a place for pumping sequencers as well as for ambient passages and cosmic murkiness. 50 minutes of Noc na zamku (A Night in the Castle) really do make a great impression indeed.
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Tomasz Zawadziński | Sounds Like PicturesBestseller Good priceBehind this sublime artwork hides a more magnificent album. Sounds Like Pictures carries easily its title. Sonorous images that
Tomasz Zawadzinskidraws with a magic dexterity will undoubtedly please
Tangerine Dreamfans of a more metallic and innovative period; the
Schmoellingyears. Originally composed in 2002, released in 2008 by the Polish label Generator pl and distributed by Ricochet Dream label, Sounds Like Pictures is a wonderful album where 3 long music pieces to progressive electronic flavors of the 80's fill our hearing with a forgotten nostalgia. An album which will become an unavoidable to your discography and where the Polish synthesist weaves a sound fusion as complex as melodious, like those great music moments created by the mythical German trio formed by
Metallic waves entangle in a cosmic sound labyrinth very well structured and full of imagery on Sounds Like Pictures' opening. Towards these galactic waves and its intersidereal breaths, the synth crumbles metallic serpentines which scroll among morphic strata to very metallic shapes. A slow intro to cold spatial aromas where the electronic universe shapes perfectly to the progressive one, in particular at around the 5th minute when a warm atmosphere settles down with a synth with a synth of which slightly fluty breaths of air float uninhibitedly in an atmosphere very near
Pink Floydon Wish you Where Here. Their synthesized waves are perturbed by the arrival of the other waves more motley and metallic, moulding a sonorous world to stunning paradoxes where, quietly, the electronic universe of a
Tangerine Dreamfirst version settles down in a foggy to vapors of ether. The first steps of a sequencer pulse under mellotron layers, introducing a shy rhythmic under violin strata. The rhythm becomes steadier, beneath the pulsations of a sequence to the beatings of a drum, while the synth fulminates splendid warm and suave solos below hiccupping chords of a discreet keyboard.
Tomasz Zawadzinskidoesn't just content to amaze with this intro to hybrid influences. He plays with his cadences and transposes his rhythms among brief atmospheric passages where the synthesized waves shape to
Tangerine Dream'stones, grind in the tones of Dream, on unexpected rhythmic permutations and long and sinuous synth solos.
Impulses of Abyss opens with a synth to slow and sinuous reverberations, drawing a cadence just as much heavy and sensual which doubtless influenced
Gert Emmens'world, cause it's the first impression (printing) that jumps to ears while hearing it. A slow and heavy rhythm which progresses under beautiful limpid percussions and under heavy mellotron strata, bringing us back to
King Crimsonstrange years, but with a sharply more fed cadence. A great title and by far the most beautiful on Sounds Like Pictures. Walk Towards Sequencer's intro reminds me of these foggy percussions that we heard on 86's
Tangerine Dreamtour. Still there, a metallic intro which leads to a soft cadence encircled with hopping keys of a keyboard which are moulding marvelously to alternating sequences and a synth to juicy and finely chiseled solos. A good title that preserves its hopping tempo, but with a synth to hybrid tones of which
Tomasz Zawadzinskilikes switching around its ethereal movements, while shaping very good solos. Short and atmospheric, Swamp of Reverb soaks in a melancholic atmosphere while Running Through The Rhythm really runs towards a nervous rhythm, seasoned by superb mellotron strata which waltz with ardor on a frenzy cadence.
We can't stay indifferent to
Tomasz Zawadzinski'smusic. Even if the Polish synthesist seems definitively influenced by the sound universe of
Tangerine Dream, the fact remains that the man amazes by his great versatility in and, doubtless the big strength of Sounds Like Pictures, in his synthesized universe where he multiplies hybrid strata and cosmic atmospheres soaked of long solos in unexpected forms and random surges. Very beautiful albums which we listen to with surprise, so much that developments of a Berlin School still virgin are at ears reaches.
According to the press info,
Thomasz Zawadzinski'sSounds like Pictures is a highly cinematic sonic experience who's sound is deeply rooted in the Berliner School sequencing tradition. The almost 20-minute title track starts out atmospheric with rather flat and artificial sounding mellotron textures, but soon
Tangerine Dream- kindred sequencing, rhythms and a lush melodic solo lead things into better territory, although the superficial mellotron soundscapes show up again later on. A well executed and enjoyable sonic ride. The highly atmospheric second piece Impulses of Abyss (13:29) vaguely realms in vintage
Gert Emmens- territory, featuring some metallic rhythms, warm solo leads and better sounding mellotron textures. The overall relaxed, moody style reminded me of the sound of
Tangerine Dream'salbum Wavelength but also their classic vintage albums. The 19-minute melodic Walk towards Sequencer is next, nicely following in the steps of quality Berliner School sequencer works with a lengthy, joyful and well executed solo on top, which in the second half gets a bit too rough and freaky to my liking. The album comes to a closure with two short tracks of four and five minutes each. The free form sculptured Swamp of Reverb is a melancholic sounding ambient trip while the sequential electronics, vintage textures and dance rhythm of Running through the Rhythm take a dynamic step ahead, revealing a glimpse of what's coming on
Thomasznext album (according to the press info).
All in all, Sounds like Pictures is an accessible album worth a listen.
Already by the first listen given to
Tomasz Zawadzinski'salbum, the title suggestion will not disappoint us - indeed, the artist's pieces are very suggestive as far as visual associations are concerned.
Zawadzinski'swork is deep-rooted in the Berlin sequencing tradition, whereas he represents this party of the Berlin School, which is by no means afraid to explore new musical teritories and experiment on them. Already the title track is a good taster: the first half of the composition explores spooky deserts a la Ultima Thule Part 2 by
Tangerine Dream, while the second one injects the Listener out of the dark and into some rhythmic lands of pulsating sequencers, dreamy arpeggio-clouds and wonderful intuitive improvisations. Impulses of Abyss conjures up a metallic flanger mood, in which mysterious sequences now dissolve, then freeze. Pay attention to the vast background soundscapes, as if coming from some obscure Salvador Dalí dream or the long bygone "Pink Years" of
Tangerine Dream. A slight decrease of speed, whereas the sounds get more metallic, distorted, and grungy - here comes the next piece, Walk towards Sequencer. This 19-minute-piece brings quietness and some elements of tightness simultaneously. Swamps of Reverb, a very short one, is surely one of the most appealing episodes of the CD. Rather ambient as Berlin-like structures are here wrought in fantastic electronic fabric a bit like in
Paul Nagle'sLore. The coda, Running thru the Rhythm, is a good piece of music in which sequential electronica, Pink-Years-TD-moods, IDM and very sophisticated trance join forces. In such a way, tradition and a close look into the future get unified. Let's hope, this knot will become the starting point for the next album by
Tomasz Zawadzinski, and let's hope, another interesting album of this artist will be coming our way very soon...
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Aquavoice | ColdBestseller Good price
Aquavoiceis the musical project of Polish synthesist
Tadeusz Luczejko, who found its niche within the label Generator.pl; an interesting label of EM from Poland which is plentiful of very fascinating artists. Seventh album from
Tadeusz Luczejko, Cold is a disconcerting abstract and ambient symphony, of which the syncretism of tones adds a surreal dimension in a sound collage stem from all the facets of equipments and imagination of
Luczejko, creating an amazing abstract journey in a musical universe as ambient as a storm of wind on a crystalline plain.
Cold I to III open this anarchic symbiosis with eclectic sonorities which abound in a sphere where the ambient crosses the abstract. Silky and wavering layers intersect themselves and howl such of spectral masses among fine droplets which stream on the walls of a cave from another world pave Cold I road. Already the contrast of places and the paradox of senses are mutual. The movement is superbly tender and the ambiance is deliciously resting whereas pulsations with tinny resonances hammer a strange procession of sounds which derive towards the oblivion of Cold II. Nothingness aromatized of motionless layers which are assail by light riffs of a discrete guitar and rattlesnake serpentines which untie their sonorities in a sound universe at the crossing of
Markus Reuterand some will advance the name of
Harold Budd, which I do not unfortunately know. Cold belongs as much to the imagination of the listener as to the conceptual idea of its creator. Take example on Cold III where we hear someone breaking up wood in a Kitaroian forest, whereas guitar pads circulate in loops between minimalisms and sporadic chord of keyboards, relegating to oubliettes the strange murmur of a hardly comprehensible feminine voice. Cold IV is quite simply charming with its keyboard notes that someone taps away to the drift and which come back in loop on a fine baseline and a xylophone of glass whose notes wriggle like elytrum of a metallic cricket, shaping a stunning sensual pulsation even if completely abstract. Cold V intro could have been straight from a Martian ritual exorcism that we won't be surprise. Syncretic streak tear the quietude of a machine humming whereas a voice howls an unknown dialect, the universe becomes source of infernal din which is appeased gradually around the 3rd minute, freeing a rare peace which is soothing in the shade of a soft crystal tower. Cold VI follows on this ethereal softness with fine pads of a solitary synth which wander among soft and silky floating and fluty lines, bringing back Cold in the bosom of a more accessible work. Cold VII offers a morose approach where a voice of man mumbles in Polish on a slow and sad melancholic structure. A little as
Vangelison Blade Runner, Tadeusz Luczejko likes to let his notes sink in nothingness. Notes that float and wander to be molded within forms and imaginations of
Aquavoice'scofounder. With its organ surges of which hem chimerical waves, Cold VIII is the most animated track on Cold. A beautiful piece where sonorities spark on the top of lunar seas weaved to a synth with stroller waves and twisted solos which ravel in a ball of multi-colored sonorities which collide in wadding forged of steel. One of the best tracks on Cold! A soft and discrete incantation goes with a synth from which waves and streaks filled of spectral zests wander windingly among Japanese guitar notes; Cold IX is as much intriguing as Cold X which borrows an unsetting and harrowing path with its furtive noises, its weak hooting and its doors which squeak in an odd cosmic nebula. A title that ties the throat, just like the intriguing Cold XIII. Incongruous background noises and resounding circles floating around minimalists chords, Cold XI swims on a beautiful and warmth bass pad. No rhythms, nor even the shade of a tempo, everything lays in suspension as on Cold XII of which the limpidity of the structure is based on beautiful morphic loops which undulate in this psychedelic-electro's aura that surrounds Cold since its very first notes and which is concludes by Cold XIII and its heavy ethereal structure whose breaths push the imagination of the listener to the doors of darkness which prevails well beyond our borders.
This 1st experiment with
Aquavoiceleft me as perplexed as charmed per moments. Cold is an album difficult to tame because we are constantly immersed in a sonata for background noises in a constant search of an out of joint harmony. There are great moments. h2 and disconcerting moments, I think in particular of Cold IV, VI, VIII and XIII which make that us seeking to discover more on each listening. An undeniable sign of the immense depth which lives within Cold.
A lovely bright metallic tone (with the subtlest of vocal qualities) shimmers through the air over beautiful tinkling effects, like water slowly trickling through a fissure in the rocks down to some subterranean lake. Ideal music for summing up the band's name I suppose. A pulse starts to be heard then fades away as we enter Part 2, odd little samples accompany the transition. The feel now becomes a little warmer. There are quite a few layers of sound here, each working as one wonderful whole but not over cluttering things so retaining the exquisite beauty. We again move through to the next part on the back of samples of someone clattering around doing some work. Faint speech can just be heard as more lovely shimmers, most quite metallic sounding with a strange warmth to them, float through the air. Part 4 starts with a strummed two-note loop with a strange scraped aftersound. A second loop, this time forming a bass line joins the first and between them they create quite a hypnotic effect. We are back to shimmering drones for Part 5 but this time seeming more like a heat haze accompanied by odd animal noises. Manic utterances made me think we were going to take a walk on the dark side but then a lovely slow melodic line materialises changing the mood completely. The 6th Part starts with some echoing pulses that almost mimic the sound of a cuckoo. We then get samples of what sounds like a busy cafe. These are then juxtapositioned by a series of explosions. All this is over a very sparse backing which heightens the eerie effect. Soft mellotron pads and flutey synth then make an entrance but their lightness and beauty seems in strange contrast to the backing. This is a very curious but highly compelling track which I just had to play again before moving on. I wouldn't say that revisiting it increased my understanding but it did heighten my appreciation still further. Part 7 initially strips things right back with plucked strings, the sound of a man and child speaking and subtle little effects. Repeated echoing tones take over with curious scraping sounds in the background. The next part features an organ rising out of a sea of ticking and rumbling effects, to eventually stand in near isolation until the most prominent melody on the album so far wafts over the top. The 9th Part has a little warm warbling tone over some immensely deep rumbles. There is a sense of unease however though this is contrasted by a simple almost playful melody. The drone fades away as tinkling effects become more prominent. Relaxing stuff certainly, but with a strange edge to it. The deep drone returns for Part 10 but it is so low that it is on the edge of hearing. Slow footsteps can be heard as crystalline tones drift skywards. A door creeks. It all has a rather dreamy feel to it that could at any time turn to nightmare but doesn't. Whispers can just be heard but not made out. Part 11 is somewhat more experimental in that it uses a rather unsettling glitch effect followed by rapid note loop. Other than this the backing is rather soothing but on the whole I didn't find this track an easy listen. Part 12 is a completely different matter however in that it is supremely relaxed with sampled monologue over the top. The Final Part is another curious but somehow satisfying piece that has to be heard a number of times to be fully appreciated. All sorts of effects, some windy, some like deep breathing, others insectile or bestial all weave a strangely organic tapestry over which a slow three note mournful melody hangs, subtly mutating as it goes. There is a curious repeated hissing stab that brings the CD to its conclusion. This is an "ambient" album of the highest quality. Every piece is supremely crafted. It seems like tremendous care and skill has gone into creating or selecting every sound and then combining them together in just the right setting for maximum effect. This might make you think that the music would be rather clinical but that most certainly is not the case. It's rather as if the artist knew what he wanted to say and made sure that the sounds were just right to do so. I am sure the ideas come first then the sounds. These tracks are true compositions not just a series of nice multilayered pads (as is the case with some inferior ambient music).
David Law SMD
Calm electronic clouds are forming and gathering slowly... Then there appear some half-nature, half-electronic sounds. This is how this enthralling album begins. After a while additional tonal spheres are to be heard, they are always coloured and layered over one another with a fabulous sense of atmosphere. We are strolling through a forest and then become entangled in mysterious green depths; the sounds are on the one hand doubtless electronic, whilst, on the other hand, they seem to be so close to nature... Until the end of the third impression
Aquavoiceleads us through dreamy landscapes with his gently flowing, fabulous ambient combined with ambitious, indeed visually suggestive relaxing music; with the fourth piece, there comes a slow, majestic ostinato, to which some melancholic piano chords and fascinating synthetic sparks ceaselessly cling - if it still be ambient, then only to such an extent, to which we are dealing with this genre in
Klaus Schulze'sBlanche. Weird, murky, jarring fifth miniature puts an end to the dominating becalming mood, but in the final part it brings some very soft woven, optimistic chords, distorted through such surrealising filters as those appearing in
Sylvie Marks'Baby I'm Electric. Until the very end of the album we are surrounded with a slightly-electronized piano-contemplative mood, softly and yet interesting intermingling with recurring nature sounds and additional tonal sweeps which enlarge the room to feel this music. One may obviously recognize influences of
Tetsu Inoue(especially on the splendid twelfth track!) as well as those of
Michael Stearnsand even (the utmost contemplative)
Aquavoicemanages nonetheless to serve all his musical ideas in a fresh, fascinating and, last but not least, convincing way. Cold is a very specific, soothing and nevertheless challenging and even disturbing variety of ambient music, whereby
Aquavoiceuses tonal systems which are characteristic also for other sophisticated - and not so abstract - electronic genres. All in all, this is a highly recommended album.
From the first tracks of this carefully moulded and shaped ambient album, it becomes clear that the composer
Tadeusz Luczejkohas invested a lot of attention and time to the outcome. Cold is a gently morphing and flowing textural piece of work which comes in 13 "parts", breathing a beautiful soft glowing and vibrant brightness. The nicely layered dreamy soundscapes also occasionally feature some Polish spoken words, melancholic undercurrents and environmental/nature sounds. The fifth track is something rather different with its rather confusing, weird electronics mingled with shouting/animal sounds. Fortunate enough after that, things slow down again to shimmering, vibrating ambience, with rough, grainy edges & twists.
Later on, some sustained
Eno/Buddkindred piano returns, again weaving a soft cascading tapestry of mesmerizing sounds. I wouldn't characterize Cold an easy ambient recording, as it shows quite some contrasts, adventurous elements and minimal structures. But those who give it some thorough and attentive listens will soon discover its intrinsic beauty and craftsmanship.Bert Strolenberg sonicimmersion
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Konrad Kucz | Vita contemplativa - litaniaBestseller Good priceWritten and recorded between 2005 and 2006, Vita Contemplativa Litania of the Polish synthesist
Konrad Kuczis the very first album of Poland label Polonaise Generator.pl. An ambient, dark and emotive opus which opens with an odd cosmico-monastery mass where a cosmic monk mutters an incantation propelled by sinuous ethereal waves. This galactic mass stops abruptly! And the intro continues, wrapped of heavy layers whose fine oscillations increase the gradually emotive intensity. Muttered prayers, intermingled with heavy resounding layers furnish Litania/Intro, initiating a stunning galactico-pastoral journey in the heart of dark and medieval ambient with a fine cosmic aura.
Vita Contemplativa Litania is a slow liturgy which oscillates between two universes on slow strata that move at the speed of cloister meditation. There are few movements. Only longs synthesized waves that float in suspension among fleeting choruses that murmur and espouse hardly audible dialects in a heavy atmosphere of sound cloister where only spirits seem to hold a right-of-way. Litania I is a succession of atonal loops which tangle up among placid sonorities and ecclesiastical elegies, whereas the resounding loops of Litania II are spreading like slow metalized elytrons. Fine arpeggios glean here and there with a delicate insistence, on a lineal movement that concludes with a dark organ which opens voices of a sidereal choral to the syncretic vocalizes.
Adeptly mixing the austerity of medieval monasteries to a cosmic enquiry,
Konrad Kuczweaves webs of a strange incantation to liturgical paradox on a succession of movements of unequal oscillations and Gregorian chants of a fragmented universe. Skilful,
Kuczknows how to mould his ambiances by adding to it of fine lines of bass, enveloping and fugacious layers as well as isolated choruses, increasing gradually and continuously the intensity of its work to reach a superb paroxysm with a very musical and poetic final where everything fits together in order to conclude a piece of art both mystical, dark and constantly intriguing.
I got to say that Vita Contemplativa Litania is not easy. It is a work torn between two ecclesiastical antipodes where the Renaissance seems to rebirths in cosmic spheres. It is necessary to listen attentively Vita Contemplativa Litania to appreciate all subtleties of this highly ambient work where the weak surges and sequences animate parsimoniously parts V, VII and VIII. But beyond the thin and short rhythms hide an astonishing intensity which climbs with hesitation among superb poetic layers (Litania VI and Litania X), in a fractionated universes where atmospheres as much cavernous as cosmico-tribal are in perpetual tugging. An astounding and astonishing work for fans of dark and syncretic ambient!
Sylvain Lupari gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com
A lone Gregorian chant calls out over some of the most wonderful dark windy drones I have ever heard - then abruptly, as if a guillotine has fallen, silence descends. A mixture of wordless vocal and string pads now float through the ether. These have a slightly lighter feel to them - but not much. More really deep bass drones arrive. This is incredibly impressive- and we are still in the Intro Part 1 has a more metallic feel but even these tones have a deep reverberating feel to them. A slightly disturbing haunting quality is emphasised by the delicate and sparse use of more Gregorian utterances but these are not of the "singy" type, more like a mournful warning. Part 2 shimmers into life, it's like a spinning coin slowly winding to a halt then speeding up again. A most curious and compelling effect. Then in come some tinkling water droplet type notes marking out the most delicate of melodies. There is such a subtle beauty to it all but with a feeling of unease still hovering in the background. Again there is a sudden change as the warning chants give a single utterance then fade away leaving a simple organ line which at first is so deep that it hardly sounds like an organ at all. Angelic wordless choral sighs give a rather spiritual feel. Their memory slowly fades into the distance as we move to Part 3 More conventional Gregorian chants return, beautiful in their own right (and not overdone), their exquisiteness heightened by the most subtle of melodic sequences. Part 4 returns us to dark windy realms with doom laden string flourishes. The contrast with the previous track couldn't be more marked. Choral pads do soften things nearer the end but there is still a mournful feel to it all. The mood does lift again a little for Part 5 as things become rather spiritual again. Ideal for a quiet moment of contemplation from which we are awoken as the backing swells. It's as if there is a sudden realisation of something that has been eluding us. Part 6 lightens the mood still further- simply Heavenly stuff. The next part fills my mind with pictures of the cover artwork - a moody black and white image of a boat floating on a very still lake as the sun rises and the morning mist disappears. It's a very beautiful and serene vista / soundscape. A delicate sequence slowly rises as Part 8 starts to form. The subtlest use of chant colouring punctuates the wonderful pulsations as they seep into your soul then something is said and immediately we descend to silence. Part 9 starts with deep crashing effects as we enter more malevolent realms. It's as if doors are being slammed behind us, cutting off any chance of retreat. Part 10 sees no let up to the uneasiness as watery effects mix with eerie strings. Moaning from the long dead rises up from the depths of the dark lake. Clanging effects and the sound of something being thrown into the water heighten my dark thoughts. The Finale finishes things with a more positive and again "spiritual" feel as subtle organ mixes with gorgeous deep pads and just the slightest wordless vocal colouring. The sound starts to surge, even becoming quite euphoric but there is still a hint of sadness right until the end. Sure, this is an "atmospheric" album but that term simply does not do it justice. It is a masterpiece of painting pictures with sound and quite frankly I am in awe of Konrad's skill. Surely we must hear more from this guy in future. Musicians of this talent are rare in any form of music. I absolutely loved this album. A truly amazing release.
David Law SMD
Mournful, enchanting chords seem to fill completely the dimly lit room: majestic electronic contemplation is the mood conjured up by
Konrad Kuczalready with the first sighs of his fascinating, thoughtful, indeed intimate record. Wonderful alternations of elevated, but not at all exaggerated chords, arranged for electronic organ and choir, leave no doubt that
Kucz'swork is an impressing, sequential Stabat Mater of the XXI. century. If one would like to try to describe this music, one would perhaps say:
Henryk Mikolaj Goreckimeets
Wolfram Spyra'sMeditationen - but it is a mere schematic analogy. Nevertheless, the Listener has to agree, that, as far as the formal side is concerned, with Vita Contemplativa Litania
Kuczwrites the next chapter to contemporary symphonic music, whilst, as for the instruments used, he shows, in such an original way one can arrange larger musical forms, whereby nothing really new seems to have been said. The whole composition makes a huge impression, it is awesome and moving - and it also gives courage and hope. There is definitely enough room for all emotions which we define as great or important. If (and this is by
Kuczindeed the case) the whole album is not elevated in an exaggerated way, then, one might say, the artist managed to achieve a very good effect. Sequencer lovers will also not be disappointed - let us pay special attention to the marvellous (unfortunately, not really long) Litania 8...
This is the first release of the Polish Generator-label, and as the title already suggests, it's a nice contemplative affair into symphonic ambient music. I got the impression Litania is part of a series of albums of Mr
Kucz, as I found at least one other album under the Vita Contemplativa - moniker on his website. The highly atmospheric music of Litania, which comes in ten parts plus an intro and a finale, is of a free form, gliding and overall relaxing nature. It's a softly vibrating and pulsating textural tapestry with subtle sequencing patterns, occasional organ passages and Gregorian-kindred prayers, all spreading out its wings like sonic perfume. Some parts, like the second half of "part III" roam in heavenly spheres as the choirs fade in, while there are orchestral parts in "part VI", soon followed by the sedate, soft waves of soundscapes in the next part. This all make this a rather peculiar but rewarding 55-minute ambient recording which demands active listening.
Bert Strolenberg www.sonicimmersion,org
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