Friday, December 23, 2016

Innercity Ensemble – III (2016)

Innercity Ensemble

Wojciech Jachna – trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet, effects
Jakub Ziołek – baritone & electric guitars, electronics, mini clarinet, poetry
Artur Maćkowiak – electric guitar, synthesizer, effects
Radek Dziubek – electronics, percussion, bells, melodica
Rafał Iwański – granite blocks, darabukkas, gongs, bells, rattles, zummara
Rafał Kołacki – congas, mridangam, bells, rattles, darabukka, flute, horn, pipes
Tomek Popowski – drums, percussion, bells



By Adam Baruch

This is the third album by Polish Improvised Music group Innercity Ensemble, which consists of trumpeter Wojciech Jachna, guitarists Jakub Ziołek and Artur Maćkowiak, drummer Tomasz Popowski, percussionists Rafał Iwański, Rafał Kołacki and Radek Dziubek, who is in charge of electronics. In fact all the members play a plethora of different, mostly percussive, instruments on this album, which is characterized by this powerful percussive sound. Together they perform seven original compositions, which are not credited on the album's packaging and therefore are assumed to be co-composed/improvised by all seven members of the band.

For improvised music this album is remarkably well organized, with clear melodic themes and steady, although polyrhythmic intense percussive background. The music is beyond simple classification, as it mixes many diverse genres, like Jazz, Ethno, Jungle, Ambient and many other flavors, but the important thing is of course that the result sounds beautifully coherent and highly fascinating. The music creates a trance-like atmosphere, which absorbs the listener completely, taking him away from reality into an imaginary world of its own.

Jachna plays most of the solo parts and his heartwrenching performances are the absolute centerpiece of this album. In the course of just a few years Jachna established his position as one of the most creative Polish trumpeters on a scene exploding with talent and fiercely competitive. Music connoisseurs with a developed imagination could envisage this music as "Miles Davis in a jungle".

But of course the rest of the band also contributes beautiful sound vistas and percussive backgrounds, which are rich in textures and intricate details. Although there is a certain element of repetition, the mantra-like parts are never long enough to become boring and are always ornamented by a multitude if minimalistic musical gems. Overall this is a beautiful and fascinating piece music, which explores and probes uncharted territory, as music always should. This is definitely something ambitious music livers should enjoy immensely and as such is wholeheartedly recommended!

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