Various Artists
Recycling Records Presents: The Best of Polish Smooth Jazz... Ever!

[Recycling Records, www.recyclingrecords.com]

Yasushi Yoshida
Little Grace

[Noble, www.noble-label.net]

Nicola Ratti
From the Desert Came Saltwater

[Anticipate Recordings, www.anticipaterecordings.com]

  Don't be expecting to hear Polish jazz on Recycling Records compilation "The Best of Polish Smooth Jazz... Ever!". The title is misleading to say the least as no jazz artist makes an appearance within the record's confines. What we get though is something else that is even better than initial expectations. Twenty very anonymous artists [they remain anonymous for all the right reasons] re-mix, re-live and reconstruct twenty Polish pop hits. By reconstruct, what I mean to say is literally plunder, which is why the record is released under the Creative Commons license and why the whole piece in its entirety can be downloaded from the Recycling Records web-site. Harsh, abrasive and jittery is how I'd describe most of these tracks. If you're not familiar with original pieces that form the backbone of the record, you probably won't be laughing as hard. Then again, the mish-mash of sordid borrowed sounds has a ton to offer. You get a glimpse at the real underground of [I assume] Polish audio artists at work as they plunder through pop music's back-catalogue. At certain moments, I'm surprised at how restrained some of these tracks are. The harshness of electronic barrage slows down to elicit quasi-ambient feel on Ramyla Dorowicz and her rendition of "2 Swity". Not for the faint of heart, "The Best of Polish Smooth Jazz?.Ever!" surfs a thin line between cacophony, electrifying plunder-land and joyous freedom of sound.

  Moving to Japan, we catch up with audio artist Yasushi Yoshida. With the release of his second album "Little Grace", we find him move further into a film-work quilt. Nearly everything he comes in contact with here reminds me of a movie soundtrack. The themes are grand, the instrumentation is lush, while emphasis remains high on the use of live instruments. Wind and string instruments, piano, saws all meet up with austere computer-generated world. Great deal of melancholy and pensiveness permeates this music. I'm not sure if this is because it was made during the rainy season, or whether Yoshida feels most comfortable working in that sort of an environment. His use of saw is especially conducive on "Under Calf, Winged Steps". As the melody is drawn out, one gets a sense of real drama unfolding, which leads the piece into a great climax of sorts. His use of piano and flute is sparse, but when these two instruments are featured in the mix, time comes to a stand still. Every note is punched delicately, to make it stand out all the more. I'm not going to say that "Little Grace" is transcendental but it's certainly not far from eliciting a state of calmness, peace and serenity.

  Flying halfway around the world, we find Italian audio sculptor Nicola Ratti. His 45-minute "From the Desert Came Saltwater" is an exercise in wide-open spaces; make that working from scratch in a hollow, open space that is populated by minimal instrumentation. Guitar pluckings on the release are sparse. Each time, the strings are touched in fact, one gets a sense that Ratti put a lot of thought into the process. Percussive tinkles are light, allowing maximum allotment of space to the hushed, guitar strumming. Introspective moods emerge as the music flows naturally, if somewhat lethargically. That's the beauty of this release. The haunting, introspective hushed glory is what makes the pauses between the notes on this CD so precious. Highly recommended!

  - Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Henry Flynt - Nova'Billy
+ Les Rallizes Denudes - Are You Rallizesed? Shizuoka Stupa 1974
+ Jack Rose - Dr Ragtime & Pals/Self Titled
+ Clark-Hutchinson - A=MH2... expanded
+ The Deep - Psychedelic Moods
+ Dandelion - Dandelion
+ SHIRA U'TFILA - Sephardic Songs from the Balkans
+ Maja S. K. Ratkje - River Mouth Echoes

- - - - - - - - -

+ Jason Ajemian - The Art of Dying
+ Lily & Maria - Lily & Maria
+ Modern Sound Quintet - Otinku / Rudy Smith Quartet - Still Around / Steel An'Skin - Reggae is Here Once Again
+ Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators - Keep Reachin' Up
+ Daniel Levin Quartet - Blurry
+ Death in June & Boyd Rice - Scorpion Wind
+ Paul Bradley - Màs Memorias Extranjeras
+ My Cat is an Alien / Mats Gustafsson - Cosmic Debris - Split Art-LPs series - Vol. IV / Painting Petals on Planet Ghost - Fallen Camellias
+ Davor Mikan - TŠuschung
+ Lars Fredriksson - Ting Qiu - Listening to Autumn
+ Setting Sun - Children of the Wild / Quitzow - Art College
+ Äänet - Aquarian Forest / String Cheese - String Cheese / Planivaar - Jigsaw / Zdzisław Piernik - Namanga - Plays compositions of Piotr Zabrodzki / The Elastik Band - The Elastik Band / John DahlbŠck - Winners & Fools / Suns of Arqa - Suns of Arqa Re-Mixs Muslimgauze / The Fabric - Man vs. Prototype / LD & The New Criticism - Amoral Certitudes EP / Critikal - Graphorrhea / Steve Peters - The Webster Cycles / Yoshio Machida - Hypernatural #3 / The Blakes - The Blakes / Pagans - The Blue Album / Tripping Horse - Tripping Horse / Dennis Gonzalez NY Quartet - Dance of the Soothsayer's Tongue - At Tonic / Gilbert Holmstršm Quartet - Live in Sweden 1967 / Soriah - Ofrendas de Luz a Los Muertos / Matomeri - Joys of Summer / Delon & Dalcan - Tanz / Oophoi - An Aerial View / Keith Jarrett / Gary Peacock / Jack DeJohnette - Setting Standards - New York Sessions / Rome - Masse Mensch Material / Steve Moore - Stebmo / Sun Plexus 2 - En Souvenir de L'Horreur / Various Artists - Compost Black Label - Series Vol. 3 - Mixed by Jay Shepheard / Svartbag - Svartbag / Maju - Maju-5 / He Can Jog - Middlemarch / Antenne - # 3 / Tupolev - Memories of Björn Bolssen / Demian - Demian / The Dust Dive - Claws of Light / Uri Caine - The Classical Variations / Jasmina Maschina - The Demolition Series / Bill Thompson - ...Of Memory and Dreams / Various Artists - I Like It Like That / Steve Lantner Trio - What You Can Throw / Berger / Knutsson / Spering - Up Close / Capillary Action - So Embarrasing / Richard Chartier - Further Materials / Die Resonanz - Edelbrand
+ Big Dipper - Supercluster - The Big Dipper Anthology
+ Brian Agro - Procession of the Ornaments
+ Elektronavn - Cosmic Continuum
+ Heaven And - Sweeter As The Years Roll By
+ Club 8 - The Friend I Once Had - Club 8 - Spring Came, Rain Fell - Strangely Beautiful
+ Giacomo Merega / David Tronzo / Noah Kaplan - The Light and Other Things
+ His Name is Alive - Firefly Dragonfly EP
+ Robin Saville - Peasgood Nonsuch
+ RLW / TITO - Mahlzeit / Kiko C. Esseiva - Sous les Žtoiles
+ Borko - Celebrating Life
+ William Basinski + Richard Chartier - Untitled 1-3 / William Basinski - The River
+ Carl Stone - Woo Lae Oak
+ William Parker & The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra - For Percy Heath
>> Various Artists - Recycling Records Presents: The Best of Polish Smooth Jazz... Ever! / Yasushi Yoshida - Little Grace / Nicola Ratti - From the Desert Came Saltwater
+ Cuong Vu - Vu-Tet
+ Martin Baumgartner - Shoot's Huft
+ Lindha Kallerdahl - Gold
+ Worrytrain - Fog Dance, My Moth Kingdom
+ David Buchbinder - Odessa/Havana
+ She & Him - Volume One
+ Lead Sister II - Interplanetary Craft