Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dzwiek-Bud – Ostre Noze (2013) ***1/2

Malgorzata Bogusz - viola
Suavas Lewy - guitar
Michal Rupniewski - violin
Pawel Sokolowski - saxophone


This is the second album by Polish improvising collective Dzwiek-Bud, founded by guitarist Suavas Lewy, which also includes viola player Malgorzata Bogusz, violinist Michal Rupniewski and saxophonist Pawel Sokolowski, but they play many other instruments as well. The concept of the ensemble is to create music inside a specific environment, which reflects that specific environment and its ambience. This album presents nine (well there is also a hidden tenth) improvised pieces reflecting the atmosphere of marketplaces around the Polish town of Lodz, Suavas' home town. The music is not specifically credited to anybody so one can assume it is by proxy credited to the ensemble members. The improvised pieces are accompanied by a collage of field recordings, made by Suavas at the markets, which are the authentic voices of people and other related ambient environmental sounds.

This is avant-garde music at its most extreme manifestation, which for most people is most probably way above their heads and ears. The violin and viola create mostly a sound close to avant-garde Classical music, which has been around for almost a century, although continues to be consistently ignored by the Classical snobs stuck with Ludwig van Beethoven and Amadeus Mozart. When the guitar and saxophone join in, we are transported into the Steve Lacy / Lol Coxhill / Derek Bailey area of expertise, which of course also continues to be consistently ignored, this time by the Jazz snobs; life is a bitch…

Of course the question often arises if this music (if it is music at all) has a raison d'être, since it is not very communicative, certainly isn't entertaining and most people hate it? Well, one should not ask moronic questions like these, unless one intends to question the raison d'être of Art or even Culture itself. If someone creates this music as a means of his expression, this a priori validates its right to exist. Perhaps best appropriate as a soundtrack of a documentary movie, this music standing alone offers the advantage to be able to become a soundtrack to whatever imaginary movie the listener wishes to create inside his head. It takes a lot of courage to make music like that.

The fact that such music is being created, recorded and released in Poland is truly amazing. Often considered backward and primitive by its western neighbors and across the pond big brothers, 21st Century Polish Jazz in its full splendor and diversity actually is able to teach everybody a lesson or two.

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