Monday, December 3, 2018

Jorgos Skolias/Piotr Rachoń – Free (2018)

Jorgos Skolias/Piotr Rachoń

Jorgos Skolias - vocals, electronics
Piotr Rachoń - piano


V 014

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish duo comprising of vocalist Jorgos Skolias and pianist Piotr Rachoń. The album presents ten original compositions, spontaneously created during the recording session and credited to both participants, with the "lyrics" credited to Skolias. The album was recorded at the Monochrom Studio and engineered by Ignacy Gruszecki, with the expected superb sound quality.

From the very onset of the music it becomes immediately obvious that this album is unlike anything one might have come across before. As the album's title suggests, this music is completely free from any preconceptions and genre limitations. Skolias and Rachoń let themselves to be led by their respective instincts and the telepathic rapport they manage to establish during the session's duration. They are clearly listening to each other very carefully, and yet they take turns in pushing the music from one plane to another, moving forward and backwards and sideways constantly.

Despite the seemingly directionless aura, the music is perfectly coherent and even "organized" and "melodic" most of the time, certainly in the abstract gist of these idioms. With Skolias using almost completely unconventional vocal techniques, Rachoń sticks to almost conventional chords and scales, keeping the overall result "in check", which helps to avoid havoc and confusion. Both players are of course equally inventive at all times.

Skolias uses his voice in a multilayered and multidirectional manner, utilizing single words and phrases, Multilanguage and gibberish, natural and distorted vocals and harmonized vocal effects, screams and whispers, in short an amazing array of human-produced natural and unnatural effects, which only he is capable of creating. Rachoń skillfully and incredibly sensibly manages to insert his piano sounds to harmonize perfectly with the barrage of sounds produced by Skolias, creating a symbiotic whole.

In fact describing this music in words is an a priori futile effort, and listening to it is the only proper way to treat it. Having said that, one must admit that this music is so extraordinary and Avant-garde that it can be considered groundbreaking, certainly as far as Improvised Vocal Music is concerned. The Giant Step taken by Skolias from his Rock, Blues and Jazz roots towards this revolutionary modus operandi is astonishing in its boldness and ingenuity. Although I have always considered Skolias as a superbly talented and multifaceted artist, this time he truly managed to knock my socks off! Hats off to you my Friend!

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