V/A Ė Wieża Ciśnień II (Zoharum CD)
This is the 2nd volume in the series the first being released back in 2010.
The CKiS Gallery has a long association with sound artists of a diverse nature and has used the gallery to be a conduit for sound installations, performances, exhibitions etc.
There are eleven artists on this volume of the series a couple that are known to me and most of them that arenít. Iím going to assume that all the artists are Polish and as such this compilation gives us a good broad overview of where Polish experimental music is today.
The album opens with what is to me the highlight. An excerpt from a live performance in Germany by Zenial. The piece is a fairly straight forward mix of drones and loops with more random sounds appear and increasing in intensity and speed. It reminds a little of what a more frantic sounding William Basinski might come up with. Itís definitely the strongest piece on the album for me and I could have easily listened to a whole album of it.
While the album as a whole is pretty solid other stand out tracks for me include Demonszy with their very minimal rumbles and crackles that sound like a mix of field recordings, static and intermittent synth notes. Almost like a backing track to some of This Heatís more introspective moments.
Monopium are worth a mention with their jazz solo sax playing accompanied again by field recordings of birds or insects, scraping sounds of perhaps feet along gravel and the natural sounds of the weather. The sax fitting in remarkably well.
Thereís a lot of sax on here Sambar continue this with their - Improvisation 05. Sort of like an easier on the ear version of Borbotomagus.
X-navi:et with their- March of Dead Spirits seeming to be trying to summon up the spirit of Zoviet France with large amounts of delay and loops of traditional non Western instruments.
With Micromelancolie and 52į13'N 18į16'E we are again treated to a mix of field recordings and more ambient textures. Itís not as strong as some of the other pieces but works well in places. Iím not sure if some of these pieces where recorded live in the gallery or are separate pieces that were produced specially for this album. There is an extensive booklet that comes with it but as itís in Polish Iím unable to glean any information from it.
The album closes with Mirtís track- What Are Drones which does a very good job at showing us exactly what they are with their slow swelling sounds gently augmented with other bits of static and what could be short wave radio ending the album on a high note.
Overall this is a very worthwhile album and if it goes some way to showing what the CkiiS gallery is all about and encourages people to visit it then itís done its job well.. DB