Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Cyclists – Etiudy Miejskie (2013) ***

Daniel Mackiewicz - keyboards
Wojciech Wozniak - bass
Jacek Buhl - drums
DJ G.R.Z.A.N.A. - sampler


By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by Polish experimental quartet The Cyclists, formed by keyboardist Daniel Mackiewicz (Sing Sing Penelope) with other musicians from the Bydgoszcz scene: bassist Wojciech Wozniak, drummer Jacek Buhl (Glabulator) and DJ G.R.Z.A.N.A. Together they play thirteen relatively short pieces, eleven of which were composed / improvised by the entire quartet and two were composed by Krzysztof Gruse, also a well known Bydgoszcz household name.

The music is a mixture between Jazz-Rock Fusion ditties and the ambient ventures produced by the DJ, which together sounds like an updated version of early Soft Machine sans the vocals. The compositions, although pretty basic, are all nicely melodic and the Rhodes electric piano brings waves of nostalgia. There is essentially nothing very innovative here, or perhaps the entire proceedings are purposely retrograde; in any case this is a nice and very listenable piece of music, but overall quite déjà vu.

Of course these are very talented musicians and they produced some excellent music in the past, so one should accept this project as an attempt to relax and have fun, which is exactly what it is all about.

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