pl | en

No. 136 September 2015

ONLY THE MUSIC

ou, dear Readers, might remember that a year, maybe two years ago I asked whether you would prefer longer texts with music reviews that would be published every couple of months, or shorter reviews attached to audio reviews. Most letters we received suggested the second option. That's why whenever possible audio reviews are accompanied by music reviews of either recently released or simply interesting albums.

We can't do it on regular bases though, as sometimes there is no time for additional, even short music review, or something even more interesting comes up and whatever we wanted to review doesn't make much sense anymore – long story short, there are many factors in play that force us to change our test plans. And all that while the list of interesting albums grows almost every day. Among those there are also some absolutely remarkable positions and their review published together with audio review might even „overshadow” the latter. There are many interesting albums that simply wait in the line for their turn.

So I decided to prepare this editorial/non-editorial to be a sort of summer inventory. I chose the most interesting releases that simply had to be described. Each of these albums is highly recommendable and each worth having for each music lover. Some are even must-haves. I hope that it will a be a nice, light reading for you that you can perform wherever you spend your holiday with sun on your face and wind in your hair. Make sure (considering high temperatures we have here in Poland) that you also have some cold beer or wine within your hand's reach. . Or a lemonade at least.

SKALDOWIE
Skaldowie. 50 lat
Kameleon Records

Medium: BOX – 12 x Compact Disc
Released: 2015

Limited edition No. 175/250

It is a case without precedent in Poland: the Kameleon Records released a wonderful box, definitely a collector's item, with 12 albums of Polish group Skaldowie on Compact Discs. Each of them is a replica of a vinyl issue. Box includes also a DVD with a movie from 1969 titled Jak powstali Skaldowie.

Let me remind you that before Skaldowie. 50 lat there were other boxes released on Polish market like Niemen od początku, with Czesław Niemen's music. It was actually the first and still one of the best releases of this kind in our country. Unfortunately it did not include Niemen's last two albums, that were released by other label than Polskie Nagrania MUZA. What's more, Skaldowie box “corrected” all the issues (at least as I saw them) of Niemen's boxes.

Box includes 12 albums originally released between 1967 and 1989, with all of them being previously released on vinyl – starting with 1967 Skaldowie all way through to the 1989 Nie domykajmy drzwi. The only albums missing are two parts of the Greatest Hits. One of the albums, Szanujmy wspomnienia (1977), is offered, same as the original release, with two different covers. Material was remastered by Paweł Nawara, and each disc includes also lot of historical recordings from particular period – recording for Polskie Radio, but also for German DRA and Czechoslovak Supraphon. On some discs total time of those additional materials is longer then of the album itself. This is extremely valuable addition that group's fans will surely appreciate a lot.

Sometimes these radio recordings predate the actual album recordings which gives us opportunity to follow a process of evolution of a particular tune and sometimes it is just an alternative version. One of the examples is Straszne sny naczelnika poczty w Tomaszowie track. In this box one will find as additional material on Od wschodu do zachodu słońca (1970) album and also on the next one, Ty, but in this version all musicians play on guitars and are accompanied by a vocal group Alibabki. An interesting finding was that all additional material on Ty is a mono one despite the fact that the album itself is a stereo one. One can find much more such curiosities in this box.

All albums are replicas of LP releases („mini LP”, „cardboard sleeve”, „vinyl replica” and so on). There are some other Polish releases of that kind, i.e. ones, that are described as „mini LP”. But usually these are just minimized or re-scaled versions of the size of 140 x 125 mm, like, for example, Nalot by Azyl P. The only Polish series released using proper proportions, meaning 135 x 135 mm (like Japanese ones) is „Yesterday” that was released some time ago by Klub Płytowy. This series contained albums of such artists like: Kombi, Krzysztof Cugowski, Breakout, No To Co and others..

This is the first time though, when a whole box with such LP replicas is released. And it is a box that sets the bar really high in terms of a quality. Each album has a perfectly replicated cover. Each disc is stored in a paper envelop, and these inside both parts of a double cover (the only thing missing is a foil insert for the envelop – one can always buy those oneself, for example made by Nagaoka). Each album is packed inside Japanese transparent sleeve. Box includes also a comprehensive commentary in a large book that includes a lot of images taken by Marek Karewicz that are published for the first time, and a description of each album. There is one more nice addition – a large poster. Box is a limited release with only 250 numbered pieces.

Few words about label's choices. They decided to release all albums with gatefold covers even though not all of them were originally released with those. That makes all albums look spectacular, but it is a deviation from a “replica” idea. On the back of each cover label decided to place logos of all labels recordings come from, which is another “deviation”. All covers have high gloss finish but also not all original LP releases had those. And one more thing – it would be great if we were offered both, mono and stereo, versions of these album, just as they were originally released.

But these are all details, there are no strict rules for them and it is label's decision. Compared to other Polish re-issues this box is simply a shockingly good replica. It's quality can be compared to the best Japanese releases.

SOUND

Albums that are part of this box have been released separately by Kameleon Records within last few years. All of them were remastered by the same guy which provides a certain consistency of sound quality and character of all of them. Sound is simply amazing. It's very clean, especially the treble, which is very rare among Polish albums. Proportion between bass and treble is just perfect. Although this particular feature might be perceived differently by fans. The album Cała jesteś w skowronkach released in 2014 by Polskie Nagrania (as a part of „Kultowe winyle na CD” series, PNCD 1556), sounds differently. There is an emphasis in a lower region and treble is slightly rolled off. Which means it sounds like, as some bit older fans might remember, original vinyl version sounded like on some poor sounding turntables available at the time (rolled off treble, warm midrange) with added emphasis on the bass (which was the element everybody missed back then).

I might agree that it is an interesting version but personally I'd rather go with Mr Nawara's vision. If I remember correctly, and I do, how the analogue master tapes recorded in Poland in 1960-1970ties sounded like, I think the version proposed by Kameleon Records is closer to them. What we can hear from Polskie Nagrania release is closer to the sound of vinyl release played on not so good quality turntable. It is fine too, some might like it but it is further from truth. If somebody was to combine these two sounds, like it was done for Czesław Niemen's „Remaster 2014” series, it would be absolutely brilliant. But here and now I chose the version prepared by Piotr Nawara.

If I had to complain about something I'd say that lower midrange and upper bass could be richer. Mono recordings don't quite offer the scale of the sound that I remember from vinyl releases, and the new version is not so palpable either. It was obvious when I listened to the German and Czech material, but also with part of the material delivered by Polskie Radio. It was like Mr Nawara had received a copy of the material and not original master tapes.

Any yet this is a fantastic box, It's a must have and must listen type of release – Skaldowie created a lot of very nice, very good melodies, and their more progressive versions sounded like they were played by a band from UK or USA. One might want to buy additionally albums not included in the box with a progressive material recorded for German studios. This is a release that sets a bar very high and its example should be followed by others.

SOUND QUALITY: 6-8/10
REMASTER: REFERENCE

www.kameleonrecords.pl

EUGENIUSZ RUDNIK
Miniatury
Requiem Records 100 | 2015

Medium: BOX 4 x Compact Disc
Released: 2015

Box Miniatury with music of Eugeniusz Rudnik premiered on June 21st 2015 in Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich POLIN in Warsaw. A week earlier I spoke about it with Tadek Łuczejko (Aquavoice), who prepared one of 40 pieces, reinterpretations for one of the four discs in this box. Other 39 were prepared by Polish musicians like, for example, Bodek Pezda, leader of Agressiva 69. The other 3 discs include Miniatury - short recordings of Eugeniusz Rudnik made by him between 1975 and 1995.

Despite the fact many call him a „legend”, he doesn't seem to feel as one. He is simply happy that fortune, fate, or whatever it was brought his work back, re-discovered it for an audience. In his interview for „Newsweek” he said: „I used whatever poor pieces of music I created, garbage really... Usually, when musician makes a mistake, or an actor is stuck with the line, such material goes to waste. But I liked it”. And he finalized this interview with words as follows: „Do I like this situation that people took interest in me again? Sure I do! Who wouldn't like it?!” (Dawid Karpiuk, Odnaleziony mistrz awangardy, „Newsweek”, 29/2015, p. 100-103).

This is not the first release of Requiem Records with Rudnik's work, not the first ever released with his music by any label. There was this fantastic series Polish Radio Experimental Studio by Bôłt Records, and also an album called ERdada na taśmę (Requiem). The latter gave us an idea of what to expect from Miniatury box – it was released in a box, identical with the one used for an analogue tape but with a CD inside.

The Experimental Studio of Polskie Radio was founded in 1957, and closed down in 2004. Eugeniusz Rudnik started working there at the very beginning and kept this relation with the Studio for almost the whole time it existed. For a long time he worked as a recording specialist, he was also responsible for maintenance of recording equipment, its modification and he even created some of it. Only later he became a musician. During his career he worked with the greatest – Krzysztof Penderecki or Karlheinz Stockhausen. The latter even insisted that Rudnik became his assistant.

Forgotten for years, he was rediscovered only in the second decade of the 21st century. In 2012 Rudnik received a statuette Człowiek ze Złotym Uchem (Man with golden ear) during Soundedit festival in Łódź, and the audience gave his standing ovation and sang him Happy birthday as it was his 80th birthday (as described by Jędrzej Słodkowski, Eugeniusz Rudnik – live legend, master of sound and words in cinema and on records, „Wyborcza.pl”, 18.06.2015; see HERE). In 2014 audience of the Off Festival in Katowice could also listen to his music.

More and more releases with his works seem to confirm this tendency. Box Requiem Records includes three discs, 40 tracks each, with pieces composed by Rudnik and the fourth one, also with 40 tracks, with his music interpreted by other Polish musicians. The cover of “Rudnik cube” (the box is a cube) was created by four renown artists: Maria Apoleika, Tomasz Niewiadomski, Trust and Peter Jan. Inside one will also find a short text by Marek Horodniczy, and also posters.

SOUND

Although the old saying goes like: clothes do not make a man, they actually often do, they create the first impression, they decide how a man is, at least at first, perceived. That's why also this “Rudnik cube” give this box extra points, first of all for the idea itself and secondly for its realization. This is a collector's item and it surely deserves to be called one – it is precisely and neatly made.

It has not only collector's value but also an amazing artistic one. It is amazing how the works of musicians working with Experimental Studio of Polish Radio are, on spiritual level, close to music created in Western Europe. If there was no Iron Curtain I'm pretty sure that Polish artists like Rudnik, Penderecki (I mean Maestro of that time), Krauze and many others would be referenced in texts about electronic, experimental music all over the world next to their idol, Stockhausen.

The high quality of the sound is a third key element of this box, as it truly does offer excellent sound. It keeps richness of the analogue tape, i.e. harmonics, presenting also a lot of nuances that original vinyl records didn't. Sound, when needed, is very palpable, and sometimes even piercing if necessary. Soundstage is also impressive - even though it was artificially created it plays a great artistic role in this music. Albums from this box confirm what we all know so well: high performance system is capable of delivering “more music”, meaning that it brings us closer to artist's vision. And this is simply beautiful!

SOUND QUALITY: 9/10
REMASTER: REFERENCE

requiem-records.com

PINKROOM
Unloved Toy
Creative Farm Production CFCD 003

Medium: Compact Disc
Released: 2014

Short list of Polish progressive rock bands cultivating Steven Wilson heritage must include Pinkroom. The band was founded in 2003 by Mariusz Boniecki (guitars and vocal) and Marcin Kledzik (drums), who knew each other from another band called Empty Room, together with Maciej Feddek from newly formed studio JET in Nowy Dwór. Soon after that they released their debut album, Psychosolstice.

For this album musician invited also some guests – Kacper Ostrowski who recorded bass guitar parts, Mikołaj Zieliński (vocal for track 1) and Anna Szczygieł (cello). Album was released by an independent label Creative Farm Production – a producers' group Maciej Feddek and Mariusz Boniecki joined.

In 2012 the band composed and recorded material for their second album that was released only two years later: Unloved Stroy. It was prepared by Mariusz Boniecki, Marcin Kledzik, Grzegorz Korybalski (bass) and Karol Szolz (guitar).

SOUND

There are a lot of bands playing progressive rock. But there are few that play progressive rock the way Pinkroom does on this album. Recording was brilliantly produced and offers really sophisticated sound. Great spacing, imaging, depth, lots of air – all is there. And whatever similarities one finds here to the works of other bands, these are only similarities, this is using similar style, developing idea of others but in own band's way. Album includes more powerful, energetic fragments, and other, slowly developing, epic stories.

As far as sound quality comes these recordings seem to be combined of two parts. The first one includes sequences with a lot of air, effects, intros, the other one includes powerful guitars and vocal. The former are brilliant, they create the atmosphere of each track on intellectual and emotional level. The latter are more typical for rock music – selectivity and resolution are not particularly great. Wilson does it in a deeper and richer way at the same time, especially when it comes to vocal clarity and better separation of following planes of the soundstage.

I kept listening to this album getting deeper and deeper into music. It is surely a bit more “difficult” material than the one from their debut album, but maybe that is why it took me “deeper”. There is no particular clarity in the sound, its not very dynamic either. But you won't come across any of those annoying brightness, it never sounds like you listen it via telephone, which often happens on rock album and which is often confused with “authenticity”. In most cases that's actually a proof of poor production. This time what we get is well produced album that one can listen to regardless of how good one's system is without a risk that one won't hear too little or too much – it is well balanced recording and one gets exactly as much of everything as needed.

Interesting music, reasonable sound quality – despite invasion of grunge rock is not dead! Highly recommended to all who value good music. This is an album you'll be coming back to, many, many times.

SOUND QUALITY: 7/10

www.creativefarm.eu

HAROLD MABERN
Afro Blue
Smoke Sessions Records SSR-1503

Medium: CD
Released: 2015

It is the second album of Harold Mabern, who next year will celebrate his 80th birthday, released by Smoke Sessions Records. The new album Afro Blue features vocalists like: Gregory Porter, Norah Jones, Jane Monheit, Kurt Elling and Alexis Cole. The Mabe, who is known mainly as accompanying musician, loves to say: „I love vocalists. I love to play for singers because that’s really how you learn how to play the piano jazz-wise. They go through every aspect of music— changing keys, slow tempos to fast, playing rubato, playing verses, all of the Great American Songbook—that’s really how you learn how to play.”

For the recording of Afro Blue Mabern invited some remarkable musicians to join him, like: Jeremy Pelt, Eric Alexander and Steve Turre – for brass section, John Webber (double bass) and Joe Farnsworth (drums) took established a rhythm section. In Steely Dan's Do It Again Peter Bernstein joined the group on a guitar. Album was released as a deluxe 8-part digipack, that includes a long interview with maestro, and many photographs. It can be also purchased via iTunes in "Mastered for iTunes” version, also as a hi-res 24/96 file.

SOUND

Album offers a very interesting music, unlike many contemporary jazz recordings only repeating idioms created in 1950ties and 1960ties. In part it is secondary, but I would call it rather a tribute, this album does not pretend anything it is not. It is obvious that musicians really like what they do, that music is their life and they love it! It's not particularly visionary? – Who cares…

Sound of this Harold Mabbern's release is quite good, although not remarkable. Tonal balance is shifted towards upper bass emphasizing double bass, especially its muffled decay. Cymbals sound pretty nice but they are not particularly well differentiated. In general sound on this album could use better selectivity and be more resolving. If I were to shortly describe the sound I would say that it is like a negative of what one finds in most ECM recordings.

I don't have any problem with that. I've been listening to this album for quite some time now and I'm still not bored with it. It's a really good piece of music, played with feeling, which an element that most recordings made today miss.

SOUND QUALITY: 7/10

smokesessionsrecords.com

STANISŁAW SOYKA & ROGER BERG BIG BAND
Swing Revisited
Universal Music Polska 472844 1

Medium: Compact Disc
Released: 14.04.2015

Big-bands were too expensive to sustain and to record and that's why they almost ceased to exist. Probably only true fans realize that they didn't “die out”, but most people think that big bands played dance music actually accompanying live dancing people – sort of activity almost non-existing in 21st century. The joined project of Stanisław Soyka and Swedish-Danish orchestra, Roger Berg Big Band, is worth noticing if not for any other reasons (and there are plenty) for its distinctness, for how different it is from almost everything one hear in a radio today. Artists decided to play, among others, standards by Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Ray Charles, Bart Howard and Victor Young.

Everything started with a spontaneous jam session during a concert big band played in Warsaw. „I was simply amazed by how “tenderly” they played this music“ - says Stanisław Soyka – „I could help myself and I had to join them for three pieces, or so. It was a fantastic experience”. Album was recorded in Swedish Malmö and in Polish Studio Załuski in 2014 following standards from Duke's time, because, as the musicians emphasize, one can't make Duke Ellington's music better, one has to experience it in one's own way. Which standards were followed – that remained undisclosed – I guess they used the old method of recording – all musicians got together and played music at the same time – who does that today?

Person responsible for the sound is Antoni Sojka, Stanisław's son – he recorded, mixed and mastered material for the album. It seems that music and vocal were recorded separately. Album was released in a form of a digipack with an insert with Stanisław Soyka's short essay, track list with names of all artists for each of them. Cover looks really nice with convex writings on it. By the time you read this a vinyl version should be also available.

SOUND

Such albums don't really happen any more, or at least they shouldn't. Large bands are costly so quite difficult to sustain. To be a part of a big-band it's not enough to like that, one has to love that. Once big-band's concerts were one of the basic forms of entertainment, today they are more of curiosity.

I really like and respect Stanisław Soyka. Among other thing also for his courage to undertake the “impossible” projects. This flirt with big-band obviously served him well, so as this type of repertoire. Any of you who has in his collections albums of Duke Ellington, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and other, should also purchase this one. This music is not that “light” as Nelson Ridley's, the Roger Berg Big Band sounds “heavier” and slower. But it is still a great fun to listen to it, it clearly shows that this recording comes from joy and love for such music.

Sound quality is also good, most of all because of high dynamics. But there are also few things that don't quite convince me. The recording is not so resolving, especially the vocal part. A lot of reverb was added to it so it stands out from the orchestra but not as a leader but rather as a separate part of the recording. The big-band itself seems to be focus in the middle of the soundstage. There should be more width and depth to such a huge band in the recording.

That's why this album does not sound as spectacular as recent Analogue Production mono reissue of Masterpieces by Ellington from 1951. Still it sounds good, it's a great fun and pleasure to listen to so I highly recommend it.

SOUND QUALITY: 7/10

soyka.pl
www.universalmusic.pl


TORI AMOS
Little Earthquakes
Atlantic/Rhino 2795617
“Deluxe 2 CD Set”

Medium: 2 x Compact Disc
Released:
REMASTER – 2015 | Wydanie oryginalne - 1992

Little Earthquakes, a debut album of Tori Amos from 1992, took this unknown artist straight to the top. The following album, at first titled God With A Big G, and finally released as Under The Pink confirmed her position on music market. Beginning 1994 a single Cornflake Girl was released and it immediately became number one hit in Great Britain. After that came the next ones: Crucify, Past The Mission (featuring Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails) and Pretty Good Year. By today both albums reached multiple platinum status in many countries.
Until now Tori Amos sold over 12 millions albums all over the world. She got 8 nominations for Grammy Awards. She played many concerts in Poland and always said she liked coming back to our country.

This album was recorded in New Mexico and Los Angeles, where they added a string section, and the whole material was mixed in London. The reissue was released as a double album in a prestigious series Deluxe Edition. It was promoted by a piece called Take To The Sky, previously released as a B-side of the Winter single. What makes this reissue of the first two albums of Tori Amos are bonus tracks. These are B-side tracks from singles, live recordings and some rarities of a different type.

A bonus disc for Little Earthquakes includes as much as 18 additional pieces, including B-sides from singles: Silent All These Years, Crucify and China. A bonus disc for Under The Pink contains 15 tunes including B-side from: Cornflake Girl, Pretty Good Year, Past The Mision. A Deluxe version of Under The Pink was released together with Little Earthquakes, as well as vinyl versions of these two releases.

SOUND

I'm really happy that the reissue was released. Not only because of all this bonus material but mostly because of albums themselves – these are good, important albums. And beautiful, too. Also sound quality is better than before.

It seems that most importantly there is less compression to the signal – signal level is identical as on the original release. It's good news as until recently each album was prepared in such a way that it would sound as loud as possible, at a cost of horrible, huge compression and overdrive.
The next good news is that sound is also much cleaner – it become particularly obvious with piano sound. The original version, in comparison, sound much worse. It's mostly about midrange and treble – listening to the reissue one really knows that piano is a large instrument and Tori Amos knows how to play dynamically. Sound on the original issue was “dirty” and like from behind a curtain.

There is another side of that coin, though. Also vocal was cleared but it didn't work that well. It would be really good to listen to the master tape to know how this vocal really sounded like. I guess the new version is closer to it. There is slight emphasis on sibilants, and lots of energy in the upper part of the range creates an impression of a slightly higher pitch of Tori's voice. Bass is very clean, but it lacks a bit more richness. This dense, rich sound of the original release disappeared, replaced by sound clarity, openness (which is good), and not so rich sound (not that good).

That's how life goes – you can't have it all. Choosing between original release and this new reissue I choose the latter accepting some compromises. It's a beautiful, well produced release. All the above remarks apply to the reissue of Under The Pink (1994), too.

toriamos.com
www.atlanticrecords.com
www.rhino.com

SOUND QUALITY: 8/10
REMASTERING: 8/10


RYSZARD SYGITOWICZ
Bez grawitacji
Wifon/GAD Records GAD CD 029

Medium: CD
Released:
ORIGINAL RELEASE: 1985
REMASTER: 11.05.2015

Between 1983and 1984 Ryszard Sygitowicz was a frequent guest in a studio of Polish Radio 3 at Myśliwiecka Street. With help of some respected musicians, and later also solo, this guitar player known mainly as a member of Perfect, recorded few instrumental tracks later released on the album titled Bez grawitacji, his debut album.

This is an instrumental, guitar rock music, rich with beautiful melodies and interesting arrangements. This album includes popular pieces like: Cavalcado and Lewa prosta, that were recorded with help of Arkadiusz Żak (bass guitar) and Zbigniew Namysłowski (saxophone). Maybe this helped to sell several thousand pieces of this album. In Great Britain it scored better reviews than albums of the great Carlos Santana. After recording this album Ryszard Sygitowicz received an award from Aleksander Kwaśniewski, and some letters with congratulations, including one from Vatican. Not bad as for album that even wasn't supposed to be released.

GAD Records just released the reissue of this album on CD. It is the first complete digital edition, remastered from original radio tapes with four bonus track, three of them never previously released. Booklet included an interesting text by Łukasz Hernik explaining genesis of this album, full of anecdotes and surprising information.

People who produced this album are: Wojciech Przybylski, Jarosław Regulski, Andrzej Hamerski, Zbigniew Kusiak, Aleksander Dowsilas. I couldn't find information on who remastered the album for this reissue.

SOUND

Hit after hit. Each tune is so interesting, and so is so well played, that despite big differences in style between tune one listens to the whole album with pleasure. For me it worked as well during sunny as during rainy days.

What makes this easy listening is not only the music itself, but also very good production and sound quality. The early 1980ties – it was not a good time for rock and pop recordings. They used a lot of compression back then, which causes significant limitation of dynamics in most recordings. This album was no exception.

Despite that this is not “flat”, “dead“ music. They did catch timbre of instruments – guitars, drums, percussion and keyboards - really well, and this reissue “rediscovered” that. The sound is also particularly vivid despite not so great dynamics.

People who did this remastering found a good way around two biggest problems of most recordings from 1980ties – not too rich bass and upper midrange that is too bright. Bass in not particularly hefty, it is obvious that at the time it was recorded differently, but in these recordings where it is really needed, like in a new-wave Na kacu (Od niechcenia), it creates a wonderful ambiance with the low sounds of a keyboard. Some frequencies, around few kHz, seem slightly emphasized especially when Sygitowicz plays acoustic guitars – it seems that he wanted them to sound this way even it that wasn't natural sound of those instruments.

This is an album that one can listen multiple times to, it won't get boring any time soon. It is a selection of very nice melodies, usually lead by guitar, sometimes with significant input of synthesizers. Recording is vivid and colorful. It's a very good reissue of a very good album.

SOUND QUALITY: 8/10
REMASTERING: 10/10

www.ryszardsygitowicz.com
gadrecords.pl


MIKOŁAJ HERTEL & PRZEMYSŁAW RUDŹ
At The Horizon’s Edge
Generator.pl GEN CD 036

Medium: CD
Released: 2015

Wojtek!

Recording of my duet with Mikołaj Hertl already premiered this year. It's a beautiful, melodic piece of electronic music. In three weeks my solo recording will premiere in „Lizard” magazine. There will be a CD attached to this magazine, but also a box edition will be available. We also record another album together with Krzysztof Duda and Robert Kanaan that will be released next year on CD and on double vinyl. After holidays Audio Cave will release my double solo album.

Regards
Przemek

WOJCIECH PACUŁA: Tell me about the recording session.
PRZEMYSŁW RUDŹ: The idea for this project came from Ziemowit Poniatowski, chief of Generator.pl. After successful co-operations with Władysław Komendarek, Józef Skrzek, or Krzysztof Duda, it turned out that Mikołaj Hertl had a lot of unreleased material that, so to speak, asked to be released.

Three of us met in Mikołaj's house. After that I took his Roland Fantom 6 to Gdańsk to download midi sequence from discs, as those were to become a base for an arrangement. Since it was supposed to be a rightful duet, and not just Rudź variations on Hertl, I asked for, and received a blessing, for adding my own parts, for cutting and putting together motives, adding my own phrases. Obviously the idea was to keep the original spirit of the piece.

After a few months I came to Mikołaj to present two pieces I put together and I was, obviously nervous about his reaction. Fortunately he liked them a lot, he was delighted even. He expressed it in such a lofty, exulted way that I knew I had to do my best so that the rest of the material would also fulfill his expectations. Within next month Within next month material for the whole album was ready including my own two pieces. Krzysztof Duda on minimoog and Piotr Nadolski on trumpet and fluegelhorn played with me in one of them.

That's how the Na krawędzi horyzontu album came to life. It presents, today almost forgotten, romantic and melodic side of electronic music. This opportunity of interaction with such a great artist as Mikołaj Hertel made me truly proud. It is possible that it won't be our last project together as I have some more of Mikołaj's unreleased material. So maybe one day I'll put together material for another album?

What, in your opinion, is the role today of digital and analogue technology used for making and recording music?
From my experience I can tell that progress in digital technologies is already so advanced that I don't think one would be able to tell a difference, in a blind test, between Moog Modular and VST plugin that emulates it. As home-recording became so popular such emulators of older analogue machines are a perfect solution for those who don't have a lot of space in their house. They sound great, offer more features, more editing options, they make it easy to change sound without time-consuming manual adjustments with knobs and buttons. This is a technology but when used properly it gives both sides, author and audience, an impression of an honest, true sound.

Do you use turntable at home? Or you prefer digital source? - if so which medium is your favorite – CD of music files?
Unfortunately I still don't have a turntable. But I really appreciate vinyl records as a music medium and whenever I can I visit my friends Premium Sound showroom, or my good friend, Jarek Janiszewski, member of the legendary Bielizna, who's a total vinyl aficionado. Analogue records sound great but it doesn't mean that I would stop using CDs. Well made CD still offers high quality sound, although it takes some effort to build a proper sound system. At home I listen to the music using Olive O3 HD server, that sports a really good D/A Converter that is capable of delivering remarkable performance using 16 bits files. It means that I'm not an orthodox. I listen to any music from any medium. What really matters is music, isn't it?

I asked because Audio Cave is about to release a vinyl with your music. Could you tell us a bit about how material for this album was recorded?
I met Audio Cave's boss, Mr Andrzej Mackiewicz for the first time during last Audio Show in Sobieski Hotel. It was a really nice, fruitful conversation and shortly after that I send him few recordings that spent some time in a drawer of my desk. Andrzej liked one of them a lot, the Music For Stargazing and he said that he would love to release it as a luxurious double vinyl.

In the meantime we also agreed that my debut for this label would be an album released for the first time as an insert to „Lizard” magazine. As far as I know the whole production process is under way and soon Hypnotized should finally be ready for release. I hope it's a beginning of a long term cooperation, although my relations with Generator.pl are also very good and I will prepare new material on regular bases for them too.

Could you recommend some album you recently listened to, I mean those worth buying?
You'll be probably surprised but I will recommend mostly classical music. Rachmaninov's Moments Musicaux played by Wladimir Aszkenazy, Mozart's Piano sonatas played by Alfred Brendl, or Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff and Serocki piano sonatas performed by Bogdan Czapiewski. The latter is very special. Amazing dynamics and perfection in every aspect – a remarkable recording. OK, you surely expect some electronic music recommendations. I regularly listen to Airsulpture Quark Soup, Arcane 33 1/3 RPM, and good, old Tangerine Dream. I really like to go back to the period with Johannes Schmoelling, which mean to albums like: Tangram, Hyperborea, White Eagle, or a fantastic live albums: Logos and Poland. But there is one more record that I love most of all, the amazing A Trick Of The Tail by Genesis. I an listen to it forever :)

SOUND

I have no idea when Przemek finds time for all he does – it seems that he doesn't sleep spending all his time composing, playing and recording. And on top of that he manages to convince some very “hard to reach” people to work with him. Mr Mikołaj Hertel who lives far away from civilization did an exception for him and that's what made it even possible for this album to come to life.

Just like on all Przemek Rudź albums I reviewed so far, this one offers proper tonal balance and spacing, an absolutely necessary element for this type of music. One won't find this sound too selective nor resolving, but that's how electronic music is recorded nowadays. There is nothing really to complain about – there is nice bass extension, delicate, nice sounding treble, and midrange is the crucial part of the range. Dynamics is bit compressed but not too much, just enough to emphasize a sound of particular sequences.

It's a very good album, a one that I;ll surely keep listening again and again. For years nothing revelatory was recorded in electronic music, but in this particular case of these two musicians this not like “eating their own tail”. They explore their own ideas, they develop them, take a look from different sides. Lets join their journey – it will be time well spent.

SOUND QUALITY: 8/10

przemyslawrudz.bandcamp.com
Generator.pl

Editor in chief
Wojciech Pacuła

About Us

We cooperate

Photo

Our reviewers regularly contribute to  “Enjoy the Music.com”, “Positive-Feedback.com”“HiFiStatement.net”  and “Hi-Fi Choice & Home Cinema. Edycja Polska” .

"High Fidelity" is a monthly magazine dedicated to high quality sound. It has been published since May 1st, 2004. Up until October 2008, the magazine was called "High Fidelity OnLine", but since November 2008 it has been registered under the new title.

"High Fidelity" is an online magazine, i.e. it is only published on the web. For the last few years it has been published both in Polish and in English. Thanks to our English section, the magazine has now a worldwide reach - statistics show that we have readers from almost every country in the world.

Once a year, we prepare a printed edition of one of reviews published online. This unique, limited collector's edition is given to the visitors of the Audio Show in Warsaw, Poland, held in November of each year.

For years, "High Fidelity" has been cooperating with other audio magazines, including “Enjoy the Music.com” and “Positive-Feedback.com” in the U.S. and “HiFiStatement.net”  in Germany. Our reviews have also been published by “6moons.com”.

You can contact any of our contributors by clicking his email address on our CONTACT  page.

enjoythemusic linia positive-feedback linia hifistatement linia

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE TESTED DEVICES ARE MADE USING THE EQUIPMENT OF THE COMPANY



Digital camera:
Canon EOS 5D MkIII

Lenses:
EF-16-35/L II USM
EF 100 mm 1:2.8 L IS USM


The site is powered by