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Majkowski, Mike

Why Is There Something Instead Of Nothing [VINYL]

Majkowski, Mike: Why Is There Something Instead Of Nothing [VINYL] (Bocian)

Australian/Polish double bassist Mike Majkowski, currently based in Berlin, in his 3rd solo release, a 45 RPM LP using tension and momentum alongside unusual techniques and intricate playing, showing concentration and physical power in 2 well-developed works.

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product information:

Edition 200 copies only, 45 RPM

Label: Bocian
Catalog ID: BC MAJ
Squidco Product Code: 18738

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Poland
Packaging: Vinyl LP in a cardstock sleeve
Recorded & Mixed in June, 2013 in Berlin, Germany by Benjamin Spitzmuller.


Mike Majkowski-doublebass

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Artist Biographies:

"Mike Majkowski is a double bassist / composer born in Sydney, Australia. Currently based in Berlin. Active in the fields of improvised, composed and exploratory music. Performs as a soloist + with a number of collaborative projects (some of which are featured in this site) mike is currently exploring the spectral qualities of double bass resonance, examining deliberate frequencies and circumstantial resonance. His music also explores the relationship between physicality and sonority, with the aim of creating a sense of stillness." (

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track listing:

SIDE A Belt Of Sand 15:00

SIDE B A Shadow Of Silver Dipped In Gold 15:00
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"This, Majkowski's third solo double bass release, is an album comprising of two pieces, which in their own way explore the relationship between stillness and momentum. The spectrum and resonance of particular sustained frequencies, and the atmosphere which they create is also at the core of this work. Majkowski captures these aspects via specific and highly detailed playing approaches, sustained over extended periods of time. We hear an inner pulse in slow melodies, and floating, almost frozen, frequencies in rapid physical actions.

Listening to this music, one cannot help but feel the immense concentration undertaken during each performance, and the remarkable precision with which Majkowski plays the double bass. These pieces create worlds of their own, which the listener is invited to step into.Regarding the evolution of this work, Majkowski states:"These two pieces were developed and refined over the course of approximately 7 months. Recording and listening back to the pieces as I was developing them was central to this process, and something I did countless times over".The music on this album has a sense of mystery about it, and a particular open-endedness to it. It is Majkowski's most intimate work to date.

Mike Majkowski, born 1983, is an Australian/Polish double bassist/composer currently based in Berlin. Outside of his solo work, Majkowski works with Chris Abrahams and James Waples in Roil, with Lukasz Rychlicki and Pawel Szpura in Lotto, with Jim Denley in Blip, with the ensemble Konzert Minimal, as well as other collaborative projects."-Bocian

"Two pretty fantastic, obsessive solo double bass compositions by Majkowski on this LP.

"On "Belt of sand", Majkowski plays, for 15 minutes, an extraordinarily rapid arco line (has to be 6-8 notes per second), usually a fairly high pitch, over some low, rumbling and knocking notes. Whether these latter are a kind of "by product" of the bowing or are produced independently, I don't know. Sometimes it seems like the bowed notes tumble into the more percussive ones. The entire piece is this one sustained activity, with all the perturbations and presumably accidental variations that occur. It's the rare piece wherein furious activity creates an odd sense of calm surface; well, "calm" would be the wrong word, more like a membrane that's vibrating in a pattern that flows from predictable to turbulent. It's a tour de force on the one hand but, crucially, one is always aware of the music produced instead of being distracted by the producer. A great piece.

"A shadow of silver dipped in gold" is quite different, though just as single-minded and rewarding. A bowed, descending, two-note motif, medium-slow, and a six or seven second period between to hear the fading resonance is played for the first half of the work, about nine minutes. It's a very attractive little nugget on its own, both the grain of the notes and the lingering echo they leave in the air. I'm sure Majkowski's intent is to play them uniformly, but the automatic difference in each iteration make for fascinating listening in and of themselves. At that halfway point, he switches to a single, strongly plucked note. Again, there are about six seconds between each attack. That's all. And it sounds great. Each echo contains at least three distinct pulses or pitch variations as it fades making for utterly absorbing listening.

A wonderful, unusual and extremely focussed release--have turntable, give a listen."-Brian Olewnick, Just Outside

Edition 200 copies only, 45 RPM

Get additional information at Brian Olewnick's Just Outside
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Stringed Instruments
Solo Artist Recordings
Australian Improvisers, Composers and Experimenters

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