Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Marcin Bozek – Affair With Art (2014)

Marcin Bożek

Marcin Bożek - bass guitar

Affair With Art


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the Polish bassist/composer Marcin Bożek, recorded solo using electric bass. The album includes just three tracks, the longest of which is almost half an hour in duration. The music is all spontaneously improvised.

Since the day I've heard Barre Phillips' "Journal Violone" in 1968 (and later on Dave Holland's "Emerald Tears" almost a decade later) I have learned not to take anything for granted, especially so solo bass albums, which in some cases emerged as cornerstones of modern music, Jazz or otherwise. However, there is always also a possibility that a solo bass album might simply turn out to be a worthless masturbation.

One must always admire the boldness of an artistic statement, such as this album. Regardless if one is able to connect to this music or not, one should at least respect the inner urge of an artist to express his emotions. After all nobody is forcing anybody to listen to a particular album after all.

This music suffers from the same problem that other avant-garde explorations also often suffer from; it is a total statement completely disregarding the listener, a self-concentrated satisfaction of an urge rather than an attempt to communicate. Therefore it remains mostly uncommunicative, and probably unable to make the listener to enjoy the experience. Notwithstanding however, art is not always meant to be pleasurable, en contraire, some best examples of artistic expression are deliberately non pleasurable, in order to shock and subvert.

To put it plainly, this is not music for everybody, or even better put it is music for very few listeners, who are able to take the plunge with the artists into the unknown, regardless of the result. Avant-garde is here to stay, and this is avant-garde at its boldest. If only because of that, I'm all for it.

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