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Robert Piotrowicz, "Euzebio"

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cover imageEuzebio is Robert Piotrowicz's first record of solely modular synthesis after a period of working within different contexts.  The recent Crackfinder was a collaboration with Jérôme Noetinger and Anna Zaradny, and Walser was a film soundtrack, so there has not been a "pure" Piotrowicz record for a while.  It is obvious, however, that he has not lost his way when it comes to his preferred instrument.  Again he coaxes some of the most varied sounds yet from his bank of electronics (in this case Buchla and EMS synthesizers), and focuses not just on the noisier characteristics of his previous works, but also some more traditional, rhythmic structures to vary things nicely.

Musica Genera

Like a lot of work centered on modular synthesizers, there is an extremely kinetic feel throughout all five compositions on this record, but even with all the chaos, there is a distinct sense of composition and structure.  "Euzo Found Guitar," for example, is a swerving ball of inorganic guitar sounds and dramatic, synthetic string scrapes for its opening, complex and multilayered.  However, it is not long before he shifts things to a rhythmic, almost skeletal techno sound before closing things up on a tense, forceful note.

The same hints at traditional structure can be heard on "Elektros Spong" as well.  Opening with an amazing approximation of pummeling drum sounds, Piotrowicz injects an array of jerky, erratic synth sequences that on the surface sound like pure entropy, but instead reveal a multitude of organized, interlocking sections.  He transitions from heavy to skittering drum sounds and low bit rate synth layers before closing things out on a satisfyingly disjointed note.  He utilizes a bit of everything on "To Fleh," opening from sputtering laser beams and big dramatic synth swells into faux birdcalls and chiming bells.  In many ways it reflects his soundtrack work, as there are all the big, dramatic stings of an action movie trailer, but far too varied and nuanced to work in that capacity.

Intensity largely reigns supreme throughout Euzebio, but there are of course moments where the album relents.  There may be some wet synth thuds throughout "Flares Et Wasser Hole," but resonant bell tones and carefully constructed melodic fragments are more at the forefront.  Closing piece "Ocarina Wars" makes for the perfect conclusion to the record.  Opening with a dense wall of malfunctioning 1970s computer mainframes, he throws in a healthy selection of laser bursts and mangled synth leads.  There is also the occasional synth thud that, the way it is used, could almost herald the opening of a thumping techno track, but he never allows it to get off the ground.

Even when Robert Piotrowicz was deep in purely synth records, he always had a knack for balancing the unpredictability of what miles of patch cables can do with a composer’s sense of construction and dynamics.  It would seem his collaborations and soundtrack work have further influenced him, because the hints of music and film score bombast are prevalent here, but nicely subsumed into his own repertoire.  I have never found a dull moment in Piotrowicz’s catalog, but Euzebio is certainly a new high water mark for his work.

Samples Available Here.

Last Updated on Saturday, 18 April 2020 17:47  


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