(Asphodel)

Here we have one of those items which I can afford to risk my face for, sentencing it as a must. This is a set comprising a CD and a DVD containing five compositions by the great Zbigniew Karkowski, deriving either from acoustic instruments or the reworking of pre-existing materials. The DVD adds three intriguing videos by Japanese Atsuko Nojiri, which finely complement the complexity of the aural message (should I say “massage”?). In both instances, it’s very strong material which at the same time keeps suspended between a puzzled responsiveness and the conscious participation to those sonic phenomena that separate computer-shielded nonentities from far-reaching artists such as the Tokyo-adopted stalwart. It is certainly not easy to penetrate the kernel of Karkowski’s music. It needs space to manifest its power, yet there are hundreds of minute details that only absolute silence – or headphone listening, if you prefer – will reveal. Multitudes of particles in a cosmos of deadly radiations which, as a whole, make feel like repressing violence (or fuelling a blissful beatitude, depending on the evolution level). To effectively assimilate all the tangential nuances and almost physiologic contents of this stuff, total focus and mental functions at their maximum speed are required. This is not wallpaper ambient. One of the tracks stands out as a true milestone, alone worth of owning the goodies: I’m referring to “Float”, opening track of the DVD, a glissando-based piece whose enormous evocative force all but throws in a state of desperation, something that comes from being unable of understand what’s going on in the depth of our entity. 16 fabulous minutes at the emotional heights of the best Roland Kayn, the sole term of comparison that came to mind while overwhelmed by this fantastic composition, which probably seals a career-defining release for Karkowski. Get a copy – you will thank me.

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