PORT-ROYAL
Afraid to Dance
STAFRAENN HAKON
Gummi

[Resonant, www.resonantlabel.com]

With their second album, "Afraid to Dance", Italian quartet Port-Royal remain in about the same spot. Their definition of sprawling post-rock momentum grows from track to track. Guitar, piano, samplers, bass, programming, visuals and "useless advices" [something I'm sure is a hit live] come together to create a concoction that is often-times difficult to describe. Is it post-rock meets acid, meets ambient overlooking a crowd of raving d'n'b fanatics? Or is it simply floating music without a larger rhyme of reason for existence? Whatever the case may be, Port-Royal's music work despite of any definitions. The sparkling guitar rays, the strangely alluring string tucks, the caresses on the strings of the bass and the gliding synth motifs. These are all elements of the game that Port-Royal welcomes. This is where they feel at home. Whether ambience is your thing or not, the band is swimming knee deep in this stuff. Just thinking about their disc [which has been playing non-stop since this morning] makes me sleepy. Perfect for a scorching day at the beach or a lazy evening at home. "Afraid to Dance" is a concoction of simple progressions, tender melodies and minimal beats that are non-threatening. Simple and enjoyable. Icelandic Olafur Josephsson [or Stafraenn Hakon] comes back with another album of contemplative music. Amazing is Josephsson's use of banjo, mandolin and glockenspiel. On the album's instrumental opener "Járn", banjo and mandolin intertwine beautifully with guitar motifs and powerhouse drumming. When "Svefn" comes around, the band takes a different approach. With Birgir Hilmarsson at the vocal helm, the band follows with a highly aggressive tune. The on-again, off-again, loud and pensive mood of the record is actually its biggest selling point. Prior, Stafraenn Hakon were a more timid band, less willing to pull out all punches. Things have changed. Band members re-examined their musical priorities and listener is all the richer for it. Album's center point seems to be the ten-minute plus "Kvef". With its lucid, dream-like state, the bleeding harp and scraunchy guitar, the epic is one that leaves the most lasting impression. What a wild ride this band has taken us on again. What all is over, all I can muster in saying is thank you for the music.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Marek Styczyński - Cyber Totem
+ Uphill Racer - You Will Understand
+ Asmus Tietchens - Notturno
+ Sonar Kollektiv - Ten Years, Who Cares?
+ Slam - Human Response
+ Shriekback - Glory Bumps
+ The Black Seeds - Into The Dojo
+ Plant43 - Grey Sky Cracks EP
+ Troy Pierce - Gone Astray
+ Outlines - Our Lives Are Too Short
+ The Orb - Orbsessions Volume Two: Finest Quality For The Connoisseur
+ Exploited Presents: Shir Khan - Maximize!
+ Magnum 38 - Old Europe Strikes Back
+ Magnum 38 - Disko Toni EP
+ Lady Aarp - Soma
+ Oliver Koletzki - Get Wasted
+ Laurent Garnier - Public Outburst
+ Fovea Hex - Allure
+ False - 2007
+ Asmus Tietchens & Richard Chartier - Fabrication
+ Brian Ellis - The Silver Creature
+ electropop.pl
+ Boxer 50 Jubilee
+ DJ 3000 - Blood & Honey
+ Current 93 - The Inmost Light
+ Cepia - Natura Morta
+ F.S. Blumm meets Luca Fadda - F.S. Blumm meets Luca Fadda
+ Eva Be - Moving Without Travelling
+ Alien Entertainment feat. Furious Steez - Tight Beatz EP
+ Nemezis - Inbetween
+ Tarwater - Spider Smile
+ Spoils of War - The Spoils of War
+ V. A. - Simla Beat 70/71
+ Death Ambient - Drunken Forest
+ Attilio Mineo - Man in Space with Sounds
+ International Harvester - Sov Gott Rose-Marie
+ Keiji Haino/K.K. Null - Mamono
+ Evan Parker - A Glancing Blow
+ Sabir Mateen's Shapes, Textures and Small Ensemble - Prophecies Come To Pass
+ David S.Ware Quartet - Renunciation
+ Sten Sandell Trio + John Butcher - Strokes

- - - - - - - - -

+ DECLARED ENEMY - Salute to 100001 Stars - A Tribute to Jean Genet
+ SCOTT TINKLER - Backwards
+ KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF - Jinx
+ FENNESZ / SAKAMOTO - Cendre
+ MIKHAIL - Orphica
+ BETTY DAVIS - Betty Davis - They Say I'm Different
+ FRANCOIS CARRIER QUARTET - Noh
>> PORT-ROYAL - Afraid to Dance / STAFRAENN HAKON - Gummi
+ PIOTR ZABRODZKI / TATSUYA YOSHIDA - Karakany
+ A.M. - Orla
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Rumble in the Jungle
+ FABIAN GISLER - Backyard Poets
+ GENARO - Genaro
+ JEAN-LOUIS HUFTA - Halfway Between The World and Death
+ LOW LOW LOW LA LA LA LOVE LOVE LOVE - Ends of June
+ HILDUR GUDNADOTTIR / BJ NILSEN / STILLUPPSTEYPA - Second Childhood
+ PHIL MINTON / VERYAN WESTON - Ways / PETER BROTZMANN / BILL LASWELL + LAST EXIT - Low Life / Koln / UWE KROPINSKI - Berlin, New York and Back / ALAN SKIDMORE QUARTET - Impressions of John Coltrane / S.O.H. - Live in London
+ THILGES - La Double Absence
+ JIM DENLEY - Through Fire, Crevice + The Hidden Valley
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Sidewalk Songs & City Stories - New Urban Folk
+ GUY KLUCEVSEK / ALAN BERN - Notefalls
+ SCOTT FIELDS ENSEMBLE - We Were The Phliks / SCOTT FIELDS ENSEMBLE - Dénouement
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Essential Dub
+ FORMICATION - Icons for a New Religion
+ ANTHONY PATERAS - Chasms
+ STEALPOT - Indian Salon
+ PEOPLE LIKE US & ERGO PHIZMIZ - Perpetuum Mobile
+ ROBERT VINCS - Devic Kingdom
+ MICHAEL ZERANG - Cedarhead
+ CARTA - The Glass Bottom Boat
+ MARCO FERNANDES / MIKE PRIDE - A Mountain is a Mammal / KK NULL - Fertile / SERAFINA STEER - Cheap Demo Bad Science / JANDEK - The Ruins of Adventure / RONDERLIN - The Great Investigation / MICHAL OSOWSKI COLLECTIVE - Live at White Elephant / MATTHIEU SALADIN - Intervalles / VARIOUS ARTISTS - Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba, Volume One / CHARLES STUART - The Man Who Likes Watching / JOELLE LEANDRE / PASCAL CONTET - Freeway / KTL - 2 / SECOND HAND - Reality / HAUSCHKA - Versions of the Prepared Piano / VARIOUS ARTISTS - The Jarring Effects Home Experience # 2 / BRUCE EISENBEIL SEXTET - Inner Constellation Volume One / EVAN BARTHOLOMEW - Borderlands / BIRDY - Birdy / FATALI - Re:Construct / CANARTIC - Bouncing Radar Beams Off The Moon
+ MAX NAGL, STEVEN BERNSTEIN, NOEL AKCHOTE, BRADLEY JONES - Big Four Live
+ AKI TAKASE / SILKE EBERHARD - Ornette Coleman Anthology

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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Here I am! - rozmowa z DJ Shirem Khanem
+ The huge amount of energy - rozmowa z Peterem Horrevortsem