A series of electroacoustic compositions from composer Slawomir Kupczak, combining the sounds of instruments via electronic means to create new hybrid sounds of alien character, released in carefully building works from near-minimal to unsettling eruptions of sound.
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Catalog ID: BR 1027
Squidco Product Code: 21108
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
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Rafal Jedzejewski-flutes, objects
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1. Anaphora V 12:04
2. Res Facta 16:50
3. 4 Dances With Prelude 11:23
4. Analogya 2 10:10
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A collaboration between the Dux and Bolt Records labels, presenting the work of Polish composer Slawomir Kupczak. Kupczak combines the sounds of instruments via electronic means, creating new hybrid sounds of unusual character. The pieces are reserved but not quite minimal, with active sounds dotting or pushing the sonic landscape, and dramatic moments that slowly build from unidentifiable sources. The more active pieces are balanced by slower tonal works with conventional instrumentation that is punctuated in unexpected ways, where technology is used as an element in his palette without burdening the musicality of his compositions. An album that rewards the careful listener.
"Part of a Bôłt Records series which showcases New Music in Eastern Europe is Res Facta, composed by Sławomir Kupczak. We were very impressed with this fellow's Report album from 2012, and have also noted his work with the improvising electro-acoustic ensemble Phonos Ek Mechanes. Can't find any information about Res Facta on the web, not even in Polish...it feels like a different proposition to the rather urgent and paranoid Report, which was rather a radiophonic text-heavy piece. Res Facta is much more "open", even to the point of bleakness, with its minimal sounds, near-silent passages, and lengthy held notes suspended over an uncertain landscape. Can't help grasping at a landscape metaphor when faced with the cover art, which looks like a detail from a map, an aerial photo of the countryside redrawn in browns and greens. The sparseness of the composer's strategy extends to the instrumentation, and there are just four other musicians besides himself on the record, including the splendid Ewa Liebchen playing a heart-rending flute on the title track 'Res Facta' accompanied by the sprightly piano of Szábolcs Ezstényi. 'Res Facta' emerges as grim and desolate in its emotional range, even when the two instruments attempt a pastoral dance in the forest nearby. All they find is three bare twigs instead of the hoped-for lush greenery. But they manage to perform a dance anyway.
'Res Facta' more closely hews to the 20th-century school of dissonance and carefully-executed anti-harmonies, and some listeners might find they're getting more porridge in their feedbag from '4 Dances Wirth Prelude', a superbly-compacted piece that's wound as tight as a clock-spring. Kupczak uses his most fearsome, droney lower-case electronics to inspire moods of pessimism and gloom, and the accordion of Rafał Łuc is I think subjected to some severe electro-acoustic treatments, until his squeezebox resembles a grunting monster with a bad head cold. Some 'Dances' these are turning out to be...more like funeral marches...this abrasive and menacing material promises little opportunity for the light-footed hopster to execute any nimble steps, other than a clumping stumble through a pathway crowded with thorns, nettles, and briar patches. You see, the countryside metaphor won't go away.
More acoustic flute and piano modernism on 'Analogya 2' which isn't especially ground-breaking and I haven't much to say about it; the strongest piece occurs at the start, 'Anaphora V', which is 12 minutes of disturbing expository material arranged with a fractured dream-logic that is bound to puzzle 90% of listeners who encounter it. If I'm reading the credits right, it's all played and performed by Sławomir Kupczak, who only credits himself with "electronics" on the cover, but I think this is a combination of mixed sources, including some tape samples. It's a master-class in odd dynamics...loud and quiet sounds juxtaposed to deliver maximum heart-shock...sometimes percussive, sometimes explosive, sometimes just uncertain and droney synthesized wails. At all times, the sounds are highly alien and unfamiliar, and we're left without a signpost to guide us through this mysterious journey. In all, while nowhere near as satisfying as Report, still recommend this album for its many moments of deep, disturbing strangeness."-Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector
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