3 weeks ago, 25 March 2014 · 0 notes
For tracklist click here:Tweet
For tracklist click here:Tweet
There is music and sound that without any ornamentation or sycophantic tropes manages to evoke specific almost synaesthetic evocations. It is almost as if it didn’t need a particular source or origin, it is acousmatic, as if it existed alone, emitted into urban decay, those areas abandoned by the well-to-do and successful. Unpretentious and direct, raw and uncompromising.
That is the music of the Hungarian Lanuk. I first saw him in Budapest supporting Nate Young, and his crazy buoyant live set easily surpassed the one of the headliner of that night. Noodly, playful, psychotropic.
Four of his tracks now feature on a new release, simply entitled o(O. It is not bothered by the passing fad of noise techno, it mostly eschews rhythm or more approachable elements, and when there is one, it is relentless.Tweet
Samčo, brat dážďoviek is a Slovak musician and an enigma, with an affinity for subversion of national identities and all sorts of ideology recontextualisations. He is also an expert in obscure music, check out his article about the Czech and Slovak Bandzone scene here.
1. Musical highlight of the year?
Being a big fan of local obscure music, I was pretty excited by the first “official” releases of Slovak unknown legends. VooDooMan from Bratislava is a true art-brut sound-artist and sort of “kutil" (a specific Czech/Slovak term for "do-it-yourself" with one difference; in socialist Czechoslovakia, being a kutil was not being a part subculture, but a necessity). Vacuum cleaner controlled by MIDI and such stuff, you know.
Noizy Days is sort of “the noiziest of” compilation by musician named Cadillac Face (again from Bratislava). This collection of really dirty, dark and sincere home-made indie pop songs makes 99% of Slovak indie-pop projects sound like your local synthfolklore wedding band.
Small/D.I.Y Slovak labels like LOM or Nomad Sky Diaries did their job exceptionally well; Jonáš Gruska from LOM also organised “ZVŮK”, a D.I.Y/guerilla festival of experimental music, almost secretly and right under a highway bridge over Danube in Bratislava. I also enjoyed the live gig of Czech oracle and esoteric TV guru Vlastík Plamínek, roaring his cute simple lyrics (“puppyyyyyy! puppyyyyyy!”) while frantically banging on shamanic drums, true harsh anti-music. And let’s not to forget the POKE festival between Košice and Prešov - in eastern Slovakia, where lots of people don’t even know, what a music festival is, it is nice to have a multi-media festival amid abandoned brickwork, loads of local artists along with international “stars”.
2. Discovery of the year?
A new source of Slovak bedroom-pop (along with casual small-town alternative rock/pop) has appeared: the music chart “Demovnica” on Radio_FM, where non-professional musicians can send their works. My favourite was “Leopardón”, homemade acoustic aww-pop from middle-Slovakian mountains. More and more musicians or labels release their work on audio cassettes, I’m getting sentimental. Besides the local scenes, I got pretty excited by Japanese toothbrushing training music videos for kids - onomatopoeic gargling and brushing combined with cute animals and catchy melodies.
3. Lowpoint in terms of music/scene of the year?
Though Košice became the European capital of culture and there were some interesting events here and there, the townhall did not obviously notice anything, and the live concerts they organized on the Main Street were as bad as they always have been. The R’n’B singer and #swagger Tomi Popovič recorded a song “Sorry, Girl, Your Body is Mine”, which was supposed to be a Slovak summer hit. Legendary novelty synthpop act “Miroslav Martin a Drahomíra Masaryková DUO" did not play a single live gig, even though they announced it (their recent summer hit, "Ruky nad hlavou"/"Hands up" was first-rate, though). Festival of experimental/dark ambient/noise/etc music in the ruins of Máriacsalád monastery (south Slovakia) was cancelled; a fate of local non-legal volunteerism (last year, people who attended, also helped to tidy up the ruins of the monastery, full of rubbish). Justin Bieber has announced he is retiring from music, and he disappointed his fans because he “used a bucket instead of toilet”.
4. Personal wishes and tips for 2014?
Looking forward for the first youtube festival of noise music, #InternetNoiseFestival at Feb 1., anyone can attend as a musician (some local noise heroes are already planning to). First world problem: want to see Kraftwerk live, but can’t afford to attend Pohoda festival. I’m awaiting the renaissance of phonograph cylinders and reel tapes. I’m awaiting big hit single(s) generated[composed] by computer software instead by human composer. And I desperately want to attend a march of Justin Bieber fans some day - I missed the recent one in Brno.Tweet
‘Lincoln Sea’ is an almost 40-minutes multilayered composition, divided in two parts to fit the vinyl format. It’s a second Robert Piotrowicz solo album this year, coming after enthusiastically received ‘When Snakeboy is Dying’. There, apart from his trademark analogue synthesizer, he deployed piano, guitar and vibraphone - in effect that record is gentle, thus differing greatly from his previous efforts. The new one is much more energetic and impetuous. Both albums were mastered by renowned Rashad Becker, who didn’t interfere in the material he had received, but made it sounds richer. Thanks to that it didn’t lose nothing of its original force transferred to vinyl.
This time Piotrowicz, using only modular synthesizer, is giving the listeners an opportunity to go trough a rich sound-experience, demanding attention so they are able to immerse into rough sea of strident microtones. The piece begins with metallic buzzing, which is transformed and gains in strength. It wasn’t improvised but meticulously crafted in studio.
The author admits that the composition’s form and narrative arc are closely related to the sound’s image structure, which means that often the music’s progress was dependent on it’s timbre and architecture. “The material was determined by microtonality, elements of harmonics and emotional status of sound masses. It was realized through a variety of methods, for example a constant intensification and a continuous expansion of the same. I wanted to achieve a limit of the capacity of the sound picture, while at the same time keeping the maximum clarity and resolution of the horizontal factor. The idea of a sound mass took away the autonomous properties of singular elements of piece. Obviously it remains in contrast to purely solo parts, which as a material stay tantamount.”
He also adds that “the concept of multidimensional total structure in a constant movement was crucial to creating a model of the sound masses. In the composition, I wished to reconcile this utopian idea of an independent structure with a time-determined narration of a musical piece. There is a fine line between narrativity of this album and its sound sculpture, it’s something that I feel constantly challenged by.”
As for the title - Lincoln Sea is a barely inhabited part of Arctic Ocean, covered for the whole year by an ice layer thick even up to 15 meters. But Piotrowicz hadn’t been there and it wasn’t his intention to create a musical portrait of the place. The record is related to the area on a symbolic level - aggression and exhilaration interwoven, sound treated in a holistic way.
By Karolina Karnacewicz, see her blog hereTweet