Sunday, April 3, 2011

Contemporary Noise Sextet - Ghostwriter's Joke (2011)

I love this band so please bear in mind that my opinion is biased: in this case the problem is that I had expectations too high. First record of then Contemporary Noise Quintet "Pig Inside Gentleman" (2006) simply turn my jazz gusto upside down. It was simply tour-de-force, something completely new in Polish music, a perfect blend of jazz, rock, pop, film music: it was sexy as hell and yet appealed to such a conneiseurs as I pretend to be. Because of its originality it was either loved or hated but the most important is that nobody remained  indifferent. 
With their next record "Unaffected Thought Flow" (2008) the band expanded into six regular members (plus guests). It resulted in even more diversified sound quite unlike for group operating on the vestiges of jazz and popular music. With this record even skeptics became convinced that Contemporary Noise Sextet is new significant force in Polish jazz and they began to be counted among strongest young bands such as Pink Freud or Sing Sing Penelope (Tomek Glazik and Wojtek Jachna played in both SSP and CNS). The success of those two albums helped them also to be recognized abroad which resulted in German Denovali Rec. and Japanese Zankyo Rec. issuing their CD as well as their own Polish Electric Eye Rec.
Their third issue, "Theater Play Music" (2008), was quite different story and is still waiting to be described on this blog. So let me now focus now on their newest album: what is it like?
First of all it confirms thoroughly that they developed their own language, immediately recognized after listening to first bars of the music: a dream fulfilled for any players. Film music connotations are even stronger than before: one rehearsal after another I tried to imagine a narrative that might fit to this dynamic and story-telling music.
On the other hand I must confess that  music on this record moved from typical jazz spatiality to rock aggressiveness and thus lost some of its grip over me. I never liked rock, I hate loudness and din, I despise ostinato pulse present from first to last second of this album. One could expect that such evolution of the band's sound may happen as shortly before recording of this album the artists involved in this project reactivated their former band Something Like Elvis, a legend of Polish postpunk scene. 
Well, it is sad, but I simply feel like my old friends went their own way, quite separate from my gusto, but I appreciate their decisions and bid them farewell. Could it be that we shall meet again in a future...? 
Check this film about making of the album containing a sample of music:

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