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Wilhelm Bras – Visionaries & Vagabonds (Mik Musik, 2015)

Published March, 2015
by Easterndaze

Visionaries & Vagabonds is a long album. Over one hour long, which is really ambitious considering that many artists are not able to show consistent results over such a length. His previous release called Wordless Songs by Electric Fire was a noisy modular jam with technoid repetitions, an amazing and perfectly sounding album.  Two years later, Pawel Kulczynski was given the opportunity to spread his musical message at festivals like Unsound and CTM, cementing his music-making qualities. Visionaries & Vagabonds is Bras’s “mature ” release, proving that he still has got a lot to say through the optics of this kind of genre.

One of the first remarkable differences between his previous effort and this one is his approach to the sound. Wordless Songs was a dirty and menacing record, V & V has more polished tracks and in general, the listener takes away a “more clean” feeling from its long and ever-evolving tracks.  His mastery of modular synthesis provides him with options to create, change, or transform the music to stunning results. Tracks are packed with ideas and child-like playfulness. Despite their overall noise-techno feel, they display a really broad spectrum of moods. While most of the albums falling into this genre have a tendency to be dark and aggressive, this is not case here.  Tracks are mysterious, and frenetic with dark moments, but they are part of a bigger context. They do not rely on the beat as heavily as on the previous release and now create more complex rhythms. Wilhelm Bras has definitely evolved as project into something larger, containing a plethora of elements and borrowings from the other genres. The freedom given by modular synthesis and proper skills break boundaries.

Compositions are minimalist, repetitive, but tuned to the smallest detail. This is definitely not a conceptual release nor does it strive to be. All the tracks on the album have stand alone storytelling qualities and each of them explores a different sonic realm and relies on different schematics than the previous. Visionaries & Vagabonds is a delicate journey to the realm of sound possibilities guided by an experienced tour guide.

By B.Arctor