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Robert Piotrowicz, "Rurokura and Eastern European Folk Music Research Volume 2"

cover imageThe latest release from this up and coming Polish sound artist steps away from his usual preference for walls of digital noise and instead plunders through tapes of traditional folk music for source material, leaving enough evidence of its pedigree there, but taking it to far off realms of sound.

 

Bocian Records

The A side, titled "Wedding," opens with "Greek Catholic Stork Boy Choir of Ozerki Village," a rapid fire pulsing slab of cut up jittery notes.  There’s obviously underlying musical elements there, but sped up, flanged, and covered in a digital noise sheen so as to not completely give up its source.  The second piece, "Molomotki Ocarina Orchestra," keeps the same tone but locks it into a rhythmic loop that exhibits the smallest changes.

While the "Wedding" side was rapid, spastic and joyous; the "Funeral" side is appropriately slow and meditative. "School Girl Band of Gromovaya Balka" takes up the entire side B. It's a piece that uses the same type of source sounds as the A side but instead sequences them into a slow orchestral dirge.  Here, knocking percussive elements, heavy sub-bass, and open, shimmery notes create an expansive drone. 

The sound is one that’s a bit too harsh for the musique concrete crowd, yet not speaker-damaging enough for the noise kids.  Thus, it exists in its own purgatory, waiting for listeners who are willing to step outside their comfort zone and embrace something different. 

 

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Tara Jane O'Neil

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Review of the Day

"No Watches, No Maps"
While the Fat Cat people boast about their committment to introducing fresh new artists, they've played the game relatively safe for their entire existence. A successful record label has to establish themselves pretty much before they can make bold moves like this one, releasing a CD comprised entirely of demos received by the label from complete unknowns. Fat Cat established themselves by releasing an assortment of buzzworthy 12" split singles, sneaking in a relatively unknown act on one side with an established act on the other side. In sales it's called the "foot in the door technique" — now that we've got your attention, try this! The label's intentions are well and this technique sure paid off.
Conceived over two years ago, this collection gathers 74 minutes of people you most likely have never heard of, many of which will probably not surface again. While Fat Cat have pointed out that they love all of these songs, limitations of the label have only allowed them time, budget and manpower to do full releases of a couple, two of which Com.A and Duplo Remote have tracks appearing here. The collection is surprisingly impressive, starting off with the brief abrasive noise of QT?, continuing on with glitch electronica Autechre worshipping sound of Phluidbox, the sci-fi death theme sounds from Jetone and pentatonic Asian taste of Zooey. By the time it reaches the slick production of the instrumental Fridge-ish jam, Ukiyo-E's "Val Doonican," the grand scope of the collection is shifted, transforming it from a collection of random electronics to something more. At this point, the compilation of unknowns begins to strangely mirror a well-constructed soundtrack or an 80s-era cassette-only comp. Changes continue when the pounding abrasive head nodding track from Moneyshot bursts in, a melancholy piano piece from Beans arrives a few tracks later, followed by more electronic and organic contributions including the gorgeous low-tempo submission from Cytokine.
While each of the 19 songs on here are quality work, it's easy to tell that all of these artists are still in the infancy of their careers, with much more to learn about originality, composition and production. Much like releases like the "Rising from the Red Sand" comps for example, I'm predicting this disc will become one of those collectable references on discographies popping up years from now. On the horizon for the label is a section on their website with exchanges of music like this and hopefully more collections.

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