Friday, March 27, 2015

Lotto - Ask The Dust (2014)


Łukasz Rychlicki - guitar
Mike Majkowski - double bass
Paweł Szpura - drums

Ask The Dust

Lado ABC C/21

By Dirk Blasejezak

When I received this record to review I didn’t know anything about Mike Majkowski (shame on me), this is even more surprising since he has been around in Berlin for a while and has chosen this as his second home, and he is of course often playing live here. Fortunately only a few days later I had the opportunity to see him play live – that evening with his Fabric Trio (together with the German saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert and Greek drummer Yorgos Dimitriadis, as well as two guest musicians) – and it was a great concert during which his ingenuity enormously impressed me.

While researching I noticed that he was also part of the great album "Nature Moves" by the Wacław Zimpel To Tu Orchestra. Incidentally there was also a second member of the trio involved: Paweł Szpura. Both also know each other from "Mikołaj Trzaska Gra Roze" (dating from 2013). Paweł Szpura is of course well known as he played on some of my favorite records by Hera and Cukunft. Only about Łukasz Rychlicki I know nothing to say. It seems he is not to be heard on many albums yet, but I very much hope that this will change soon. I'm generally not a very big fan of jazz guitar, but that's what I like about Łukasz Rychlicki: his playing doesn’t sound like one of those boringly strummed guitars, instead he plays a very rocking guitar, distorted and very variable.

The recordings for "Ask The Dusk" took place in August 2013, after the final mix a year later, a limited number of 300 vinyl copies were released in December 2014. A digital version can of course be downloaded from the bandcamp page of the band (see below). Naturally, in such a trio the guitar is the dominant instrument (or the piano in "Gremlin-prone"). And on a first listening of this album too, bass and drums remain in the background. However, it is worthwhile to listen to it more closely, because the two do much more than just accompany. Overall I would range in the sound somewhere between Suicide and Desert Rock, in the context of jazz, of course. An impression, the rhythm section strongly supports. The trio doesn’t produce "Walls of Sound", but instead a rhythmically sophisticated framework. It also reminds me a bit of Loskot’s “Sun”.

Maybe the strong emphasis on rhythm is also one of the weaknesses of the album (if you want to call it weakness), as unfortunately it lacks melodies – I’m not sure though if you would necessarily need melodies here, but every now and then the recognition value gets lost. Nevertheless, this record is a great example of the possibilities that can arise when open minds combine jazz and rock!

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