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Konrad Kucz | Railroad paths

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Konrad Kucz | Railroad paths lupa
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After the quiet and meditative Vita Contemplativa Litania, Konrad Kucz lets his other face appear: Railroad Paths is a rhythm-sequencing, Berlin-oriented album. Although one may associate some of the moods here with the style of "the Berlin giants" or Kraftwerk, there is no doubt that Kucz's album is a very individual and mature work. This music is very good certainly not only as a soundtrack to a dawn journey by train, which seems to be the leading plot throughout the album.
  • Path I 10'05
  • Path II 5'23
  • Path III 7'00
  • Path IV 14'46
  • Path V 13'26
  • Robotic Missions 4'24

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After a heavy, syncretic and tenebrously ambient album in Vita Contemplativa Litania,

Konrad Kucz

strikes 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 Jarre

and

Tangerine Dream

marinate 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 (

Jarre

,

Space Art

,

Heldon

and

Fervant

) that meet precepts of Berlin School style a'la

Schulze

and

Tangerine Dream

.
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

Heldon

with its percussions which hammer a very cosmic rock beat and its vocodor which sounds so much like

Richard Pinhas

on 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 Dream

misty 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 Kucz

tergiversates 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.
Sylvain Lupari



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

Tangerine Dream

and

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

Vangelis

like 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

Kraftwerk

feel 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 Kucz

does in this style.

David Law - Neu Harmony



The optimistic opening of the album reminds me somehow of

Kraftwerk's

Trans 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's

concept 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

Kraftwerk

fans! Railroad Paths is a fantastic album, the other face of

Konrad Kucz

after the quiet and meditative Vita Contemplativa Litania.

Igor Wróblewski



Railroad Paths by Polish composer

Konrad Kucz

contains 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's

Trans Europa Express to mind.
As a bonus, the four minute

Kraftwerkian

Robotic 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!

Bert Strolenberg
Album's tags:

Konrad Kucz | Railroad paths

,

Generator.pl

,

Konrad Kucz

,

muzyka elektroniczna

,

ambient

,

Tangerine Dream

,

Klaus Schulze

,

Vangelis

,

Jarre

,

electronic music

,

Kraftwerk