Friday, January 10, 2014

Dwutysięczny - Jedwabnik (2013 ) ***1/2


Jerzy Mazzoll
Błażej Król
Radek Dziubek
Wojciech Kucharczyk

Jedwabnik (2013)

By Jakub Adamek

The Polish label Sangoplasmo Records have already made a name for themselves and achieved a semi-legendary status in the cassette underground for releasing cassettes from both newcomers and experienced players, challenging the listeners to take up new sonic adventures. And Dwutysięczny (that’s how we Polish folk say the date "2000") project collects some of the finest names in the experimental underground, becoming a "supergroup" of sorts. First, there’s Jerzy Mazzoll, one of the founders of the legendary Polish avant-garde jazz group Miłość (Polish for "Love"), who spearheaded the movement later known as "yass". Another member is Błażej Król, first playing in Polish indie rock band Kawałek Kulki, later going more experimental with his project UL/KR. There’s also Radek Dziubek, one of the members of the stellar psychedelic group Innercity Ensemble. Last, but not least there’s Wojciech Kucharczyk in the group, a jack of all trades who has dabbled in probably every possible form of art known to man, including music, of course. Each and every member of the group has made a name for themselves over years with different musical visions and ideas. But how do they sound together?

The opening chord of lenghtily titled opener "W miarę jak wędrujesz podnóżem góry, tajemnica się pogłębia" (“As you walk along the foot of the mountain, the mystery deepens”) is delicate, almost fragile, yet it feels incredibly powerful, like the Genesis itself. The air trembles with mystery and anticipation before the bassy drone kicks in which seems not to solve the mystery, but further deepen it (akin to the title). In fact, the whole album plays like a jazz record hidden deep beneath under layers upon layers of embalming drone and heavy ambience, where the instrumental improvisations are obscured by heavy atmosphere enhanced with unsettling and strange titles, like "Ten, który kroi jeziora" ("The one who carves the lakes") or "Śmierć pierworodnego" ("Death of the first-born"). There’s an occasional beat added to the all-enveloping drones, as if to give some blurry sense of direction, like the glitchy Fennesz-like beat in "Złamany, lecz niezłomny" or the nearly ambient tehchno beat in the closing "Sadachbia", which cuts the metallic drone into small pieces.

Despite being a one-time musical project (unfortunately), Jedwabnik is a hugely rewarding and mysterious listen, difficult and adventurous. It jumps into some dark moods before showing the light to the listener. It’s also the proof that the Polish musical underground is bulging with ideas and sometimes what is needed is just a spark to ignite the action at the forefront of experimental music.

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