Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tatvamasi – Amor Fati (2017)


Tomasz Piątek - tenor saxophone
Grzegorz Lesiak - guitar
Łukasz Downar - bass
Krzysztof Redas -  drums
Anna Witkowska - violin
Michał Ostrowski - violin
Małgorzata Pietroń - cello

Amor Fati


By Adam Baruch

This is the fourth album by Polish ensemble Tatvamasi, which undoubtedly is one of the most fascinating and totally unpredictable ensembles on the local scene. The core quartet of the ensemble, led by guitarist/composer Grzegorz Lesiak, which also includes saxophonist Tomasz Piątek, bassist Łukasz Downar and drummer Krzysztof Redas, is expanded by a string trio: violinists Anna Witkowska and Michał Ostrowski and cellist Małgorzata Pietroń. Legendary musician/producer and Obuh label owner Wojcek Czern is also featured on electronics. The album presents six original compositions, all composed by Lesiak.

The music is, as usual, quite beyond classification. The addition of the strings and electronics expends the usual ingredients, such as Jazz and Rock, to include also contemporary Classical, Folklore and Ambient elements. This time the Free Improvisation parts are much more dominant and the music is more avant-garde oriented in comparison to their earlier recordings, with the distinct Rocky guitar element almost completely gone.

As already stated, the music of Tatvamasi is completely unpredictable and every track brigs entirely different sounds and emotions. Such diversity has of course its advantages and is very interesting intellectually, but on the other hand lacks certain focus and coherency and is very difficult for "conventional" listeners. In some respects this lack of stability and jumpiness is somehow reminiscent of Frank Zappa's approach, which of course is commendable, but might create a barrier between the music and the audiences.

For a studio recording, the sound quality of the album is somewhat muddy and does not allow the small, delicate details of the music to be easily audible; perhaps purposely recorded/mixed this way, but the result is (for me) somewhat problematic. Overall this is a very interesting album, living up to the ensemble's already established reputation, although personally for me it is not their best work to date and I enjoyed more their earlier recordings. Still this is definitely more ambitious than the vast majority of albums recorded on the Polish scene and anywhere else for that matter. I am sure they will return triumphantly again!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...