Monday, June 1, 2015

Bienek/Mucha/Nowakowski/Rajca – Lipiny Syndicate (2015)

Bienek / Mucha / Nowakowski / Rajca

Tomasz Bienek - guitar
Tomasz Mucha - violin
Simon Nowakowski - bass
Ryszard Rajca - drums

Lipiny Syndicate


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Silesian quartet called Lipiny Syndicate, led by guitarist/composer Tomasz Bienek with violinist Tomasz Mucha, bassist Simon Nowakowski and drummer Ryszard Rajca. The album presents seven compositions, five of which are originals composed (in one case co-composed) by Bienek, one is a Krzysztof Komeda composition and one is an off-shot of a Beatles tune.

The music played by Lipiny Syndicate is a surprisingly original mixture of Fusion, Folklore and Psychedelia, which is distinctly original from anything else currently being played on the Polish scene. Additionally the sound of the quartet is also completely unusual, full of reverb and echo, electric and yet full of acoustic ambience. This is some of the most bizarre sound I have heard in a long time and I absolutely love it. It is somewhat similar to the early violin-based Jazz-Rock ensembles, like Flock, Hands, Curved Air, It`s A Beautiful Day and others, which brings warm waves of nostalgia and longing to the times when music was music.

Bienek's compositions are all solid, with good melody lines, serving as ideal vehicles for the extended treatment they receive by the quartet. Mucha performs most of the Jazzy improvised parts, always playing with flair as appropriate for a virtuoso performer, with Bienek playing complex guitar chords behind him. The rhythm section sticks mostly to Rock patterns, which fit the music ideally, with the bass filling the bottom part of the spectrum with a solid foundation and the drums leading the music forward at a steady pace. There are many mini-quotations hidden within the music, taken from Silesian Folklore, Hassidic Klezmer tunes, Reggae songs and a myriad of other sources, which are delightful and humorous, proving that this music is meant to be fun.

Overall this is a most likeable album, which can be listened to repeatedly and allows the listener to discover its hidden gems time after time. It is so different from most other stuff played today that it deserves to be discovered and enjoyed. Satisfaction guaranteed!

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