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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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Review of the Day

Victory at Sea, "The Good Night"

Kimchee Records
Victory at Sea are not a cheery band. The darkness and rain that seemed to possess them on their Kimchee LP 'Carousel' has not subsided, and it even feels like the storm is getting closer. Theirs is a traditional rock sound, with guitar, bass, and drums, that is often augmented by violin and keys. Singer/guitarist Mona Elliott is out for blood, shrieking and smoldering each song into your brain and veins. There seems to be no hope, no relenting, on the first three songs, as the poetic lyrics and solid sounds pummeled at my ears. Mona sings on "Canyon," "I say this place isn't big enough for the two of us," and I believe it. The punishment continues through "The Liar," and then, things seem to mellow out a little. "Old Harbor" and "Proper Time" are simple, slow, and beautiful. Here, Mona's voice is stretched out, warbling and breaking, like this is the way it's meant to be: "Get on with my life!" The power returns even in the slow pace, on "Sunny Days," one of the album's best tracks, with crunching guitar and low, thick bass. It's gorgeous as she reaches for the sky with her words, singing of clouds and rain. Following that are a few tracks with varied sound and arrangement. "A Song for Brian" features only guitar, bass, voice, and piano, so it's nothing new for this album ("Old Harbor" has a similar palette), but is still a pretty song. "The Bluebird of Happiness" sounds more like Denali (never a bad thing), and "Kelly's Landing" starts off as a rock tune and ends with children playing in the rain. "Firefly" closes the album with its "watch you die" ending, bringing the whole thing into perspective with its simple structure and sound. Victory at Sea are still growing, approaching that perfect release, and 'The Good Night' is just a narrow miss.

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