Sunday, February 24, 2013

Male Instrumenty - Katarynka (2012)

Małe Instrumenty (band):

Paweł Romańczuk
Marcin Ożóg
Tomasz Orszulak
Jędrek Kuziela
Maciek Bączyk

Katarynka (2012)

By Dirk Blasejezak

If you unpack the small cardboard box you’ll find a little hand organ (Katarynka) inside. And underneath that organ is the - of course small - CD. Because of the size the length is somewhat limited too, the whole record has a duration of slightly over 20 minutes … and those 20 minutes are split into 19 (!) pieces (to speak of songs would be a bit over the top, since more than half of the tracks are shorter than a minute)

But still - this album represents a lot of what Małe Instrumenty is about - one could even call it a signature album. All songs are centered around hand organs (hence the title), according to the accompanying text there were 63 hand organs used to create the music on this album. So not everything is small about Małe Instrumenty - at least their collection of small instruments seems to be huge!

About the music I have to repeat what I already wrote about their last album (“Chemia i Fizyka”) - despite using toy-like instruments this is in no way childish music. Quite the contrary! Every one of the 19 tracks is a little gem - somehow the musicians managed to get in tune with the little organs and find a way to implement the very short melodies of the hand organs of two to five or maybe six individual notes into a whole. Sometimes this produces a minimalistic impression and sometimes it’s indeed fun. And from all those short tracks - I wouldn’t speak of sketches although they are short, since they’re finely composed - the band forms a homogeneous piece of art. It’s really a pity that the hand organs are so small so that there only fits a 3.5” CD underneath...

Of course one must think twice before spending money for 20 minutes of music - but you get your own instrument that not only looks great among your records but that somehow makes you part of the experience as you can accompany the band when you play the CD.

Here’s a short video about the record and it’s unusual packaging:

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