Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Ślina - 42'00" (2021)

Ślina

Matylda Gerber - alto, tenor & baritone saxophones
Filip Zakrzewski - electric guitar
Mikołaj Nowicki - bass, synth
Stanisław Olek - drums
Michał Skrzypczyński - synth

42'00"

GUSSTAFF GRAM 2107


By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by Polish Improvised Music quartet Ślina, which comprises of saxophonist Matylda Gerber, guitarist Filip Zakrzewski, bassist Mikołaj Nowicki and drummer Stanisław Olek. Synthesizer player Michał Skrzypczyński appears as guest. This time the album presents three tracks, which remain uncredited and therefore assumed to be co-composed by the participating musicians.

The music continues the concept introduced on the quartet’s debut from 2019, which offers a slowly developing musical continuity, building up towards a climax, which sounds like meditation music and requires complete submission and concentration in order to listen to all the detailed performances or alternatively simply ignoring the details and flowing passively on the sonic waves.

Since the musical concept and overall aesthetics of the music are no longer surprising, it does not stir the same sensation the debut managed to create, but on the other hand the conceptual consistency and the attempt to expand it should be appreciated.

The Rock undercurrents, created by the electric guitar, are now even more potent with the addition of the synthesizers, and the music brings fond memories of the British Prog ensembles of the late 60s/early 70s like Third Ear Band, early Soft Machine, Comus, Incredible String Band and others, which of course emphasizes the "nihil novi sub sole" principle, for those who know their music in depth. Nevertheless, this is still very exciting (despite its intrinsic sluggishness) music, different from most other stuff within the Polish Avant-Garde scene. Although the slogan of Gusstaff Records, the label that released this album, is "unnecessary music" (no pun intended), this music certainly is quite necessary in every sense and definitely worth being heard.

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