The last concert of this season of Muzykoterapia series that promotes experimental music of any kind, co-hosted by the AudioTong, a small but active label in the field of undergournd, experimental and uncommon (check out their website http://www.audiotong.net/ for more informations, also much of the catalogue is available for free download)
1. Konrad Gęca
is not only the instigator and main behind-the-scene making force of the Muzykoterapia concerts but is also an active improviser in the field of electronics, mixing tape field recordings and electronically generated sounds. His performance is very introvertic and thoughtful. Kind of a music where duplicated errors in the transmission become a rule, assimilated mutation, glitch becomes the structure. Endless static noises give the illusion of endless spaces. The latter half incorporates more clearly field recordings - silence that through the imperfection of the recording device and amplification becomes hushed noise. This music is accompanied by the series of pictures of the city, mountains, ocean (or is it the other way?) creating a sort of sonicscape. Really hard for me to give any kind of evaluation as, nonetheless the live presence behind all the devices, I find that any kind of structure, narration, meaning or value is not inner to this kind of performance but comes only from its perception. As such I'd say that in musical terms the concert didn't have enough variety and lacked emotional impact, in terms of a multimedia performance though it was in fact very poetic - which brings me to the conclusion that sounds were secondary to pictures. And the other conclusion is that any kind of reading and interpretation would be valid in its own rights - which probably makes this performance a success.
You can find more information about Konrad Geca (including some of the video footage used during the concert as well as presentation of musical forms he's interested in - field recordings, electro-improvisation, noise, dub influences ecc) on his website http://dropr.com/konradgeca#/
Konrad Geca - electronics, tapes, visualization
2. DM&P Trio
This Krakow based trio celebrated with this concert the release of their first cd and it does indeed make proud to see that the there's so much happening in Krakow. That being said I never really could get through the invasive electronics use in this project. There's a great and subtle interplay between the two sax players, beginning with focused search for harmony then moving towards balancing between Slawomir (abstract lines yet phrasing clearly influenced by jazz tradition) and Philip (extrovertic madness of free-improv, shouts, screams, overtone blows). Occasional live filtering and processing of the instruments provided Pawel Dziadur (echoe, distortion, loop) give the music an extra dimension, so do the occasional quieter passages of unidentified scratches and drones. But every time Pawel Dziadur pushes it more into the noise regions I have the impression that he overshadows the saxophones instead of complementing them. While I definitely appreciate this trio's passion and dedication, I find it hard to like their music, I've never been a fan of hard electronics and can't really find a key to crack this open.
a selection of videos featuring other performances can be found here : http://www.sonicart.republika.pl/
Paweł Dziadur - electronics
Sławomir Maler - alto saxophone
Philip Palmer - alto saxophone
3. Fuka Lata
A duo from Warsaw wchich also celebrated its first release*. It's a highly hypnotic and dreamingly surreal mixture of electronic landscapes, occasional dance beat, endless guitar delays and vocal that achieves shamanic effects through modern electronic filters (echo, harmonizer, delay). The trans thus achieved is quite tantalizing, with simple yet effective lightning and mysterious dancer-performer accompanying the duo, the effect is quite compelling and as such it was one of the most complete stage performances I've ecently seen (understandable since you don't see too often any lightning or extra-musical elements of concert performance when attending mostly free jazz events).
The line between hypnotic and monotonous or transcendental and tiresome is very thin and I felt that the music was for some passages too close to crossing this one. On the other hand the way they manage to blur the line between dream and reality was quite captivating. But from under all those layers of guitar echoes, vocal delays and electronic landscapes occasionaly a catchy song tries to emerge and I must say (surprised myself to write it) I was waiting the entire concert for this more avant-pop aspect of their playing, something I had been able to see during the rehearsal. Still, it was something visually and audibly intriguing.
* The music was released under the Creative Commons License and is available for free download at http://fukalata.com/ (it focuses on electronics and guitar, with very little vocal compared to the live performance)
Fuku Lata duo
-guitar, electronics, vocal
Alchemia. Krakow. 01.06.2011