Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tomek Choloniewski - Un (Mathka, 2011) by Bartek Adamczak

Tomek Chołoniewski - percussion, drums

Un (Mathka, 2011)

Tomek Choloniewski is one of the most active figures on the Krakow improv scene and his name appeared often on this blog on the many occasions of his live performances. Which makes it even a more distinct pleasure to present his solo performance cd.

5 tracks, a play on words ("Unit", "Untitled", "Untilted", "United", "Unlitted") and a play on sounds as he presents the range of his instrumental vision. Choloniewski does what the best performers strive to do, he managed to create his own musical language, a collage of sound and strategies that, inspired by percussion traditions of world, jazz, improv, avant guarde music(s) are an expression of his own artistical identity. First track is wonderfully melodic meditation on his array of pots and plates (remind me sometimes of a marimba sound or thumb piano). The second one is a paradoxical arythmic organisation of short hits and shouts, in the latter part opposing thin tin fast sounds against bass static noise. The third one is a exploration of drones and gongs and every kinds of suspended, eerie, even nightmare sounds. The fourth brings back the melodic, ethnic sounds of his pottery set, looped to create an ever-shifting mirage, finished with a tribal roll, heavy on the toms and bass drum. Which is probably the first moment of the album which is easily identifiable as being played by a drummer on a drums set. The last track unveils slowly and graciously, sparing, modest drumming just gliding over an otherwordly static white noise.

This album is not even 20 minutes long, yet it's long enough to appreciate how singular Choloniewski's approach to drums music is. Which is definitely not a music for drummers only.

By Bartek Adamczak

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