All titles composed, performed and recorded by Aquavoice
Calm electronic clouds are forming and gathering slowly. Then there appear some half-nature, half-electronic sounds. This is how this enthralling album begins. After a while additional tonal spheres are to be heard, they are always colored and layered over one another with a fabulous sense of atmosphere. We are strolling through a forest and then become entangled in mysterious green depths; the sounds are on the one hand doubtless electronic, whilst, on the other hand, they seem to be so close to nature... Until the end of the third impression Aquavoice leads us through dreamy landscapes with his gently flowing, fabulous ambient combined with ambitious, indeed visually suggestive relaxing music; with the fourth piece, there comes a slow, majestic ostinato, to which some melancholic piano chords and fascinating synthetic sparks ceaselessly cling - if it still be ambient, then only to such an extent, to which we are dealing with this genre in Klaus Schulze's "Blanche". |
- Cold 1 [2:38]
- Cold 2 [2:56]
- Cold 3 [4:46]
- Cold 4 [3:15]
- Cold 5 [5:23]
- Cold 6 [6:18]
- Cold 7 [9:12]
- Cold 8 [6:55]
- Cold 9 [6:34]
- Cold 10 [7:51]
- Cold 11 [3:34]
- Cold 12 [3:20]
- Cold 13 [4:45]
Weird, murky, jarring fifth miniature puts an end to the dominating becalming mood, but in the final part it brings some very soft woven, optimistic chords, distorted through such surrealistic filters as those appearing in Sylvie Marks' "Baby I'm Electric". Until the very end of the album we are surrounded with a slightly-electronized piano-contemplative mood, softly and yet interesting intermingling with recurring nature sounds and additional tonal sweeps which enlarge the room to feel this music.
One may obviously recognize influences of Harold Budd, Brian Eno, Tetsu Inoue (especially on the splendid twelfth track!) as well as those of Michael Stearns and even (the utmost contemplative) Kitaro; Aquavoice manages nonetheless to serve all his musical ideas in a fresh, fascinating and, last but not least, convincing way.
"Cold" is a very specific, soothing and nevertheless challenging and even disturbing variety of ambient music, whereby Aquavoice uses tonal systems which are characteristic also for other sophisticated - and not so abstract - electronic genres.
All in all, this is a highly recommended album.
From the first tracks of this carefully moulded and shaped ambient album, it becomes clear that the composer Tadeusz Luczejko has invested a lot of attention and time to the outcome.
"Cold" is a gently morphing and flowing textural piece of work which comes in 13 "parts", breathing a beautiful soft glowing and vibrant brightness. The nicely layered dreamy soundscapes also occasionally feature some Polish spoken words, melancholic undercurrents and environmental/nature sounds.
The fifth track is something rather different with its rather confusing, weird electronics mingled with shouting/animal sounds. Fortunate enough after that, things slow down again to shimmering, vibrating ambience, with rough, grainy edges & twists. Later on, some sustained Eno/Budd kindred piano returns, again weaving a soft cascading tapestry of mesmerizing sounds.
I wouldn't characterize "Cold" an easy ambient recording, as it shows quite some contrasts, adventurous elements and minimal structures. But those who give it some thorough and attentive listens will soon discover its intrinsic beauty and craftsmanship.
Bert Strolenberg / Sonic Immersion
A lovely bright metallic tone (with the subtlest of vocal qualities) shimmers through the air over beautiful tinkling effects, like water slowly trickling through a fissure in the rocks down to some subterranean lake. Ideal music for summing up the band`s name I suppose. A pulse starts to be heard then fades away as we enter `Part 2`, odd little samples accompany the transition. The feel now becomes a little warmer. There are quite a few layers of sound here, each working as one wonderful whole but not over cluttering things so retaining the exquisite beauty.
We again move through to the next part on the back of samples of someone clattering around doing some work. Faint speech can just be heard as more lovely shimmers, most quite metallic sounding with a strange warmth to them, float through the air.
`Part 4` starts with a strummed two-note loop with a strange scraped aftersound. A second loop, this time forming a bass line joins the first and between them they create quite a hypnotic effect.
We are back to shimmering drones for `Part 5` but this time seeming more like a heat haze accompanied by odd animal noises. Manic utterances made me think we were going to take a walk on the dark side but then a lovely slow melodic line materialises changing the mood completely.
The 6th Part starts with some echoing pulses that almost mimic the sound of a cuckoo. We then get samples of what sounds like a busy café. These are then juxtapositioned by a series of explosions. All this is over a very sparse backing which heightens the eerie effect. Soft mellotron pads and flutey synth then make an entrance but their lightness and beauty seems in strange contrast to the backing. This is a very curious but highly compelling track which I just had to play again before moving on. I wouldn`t say that revisiting it increased my understanding but it did heighten my appreciation still further.
`Part 7` initially strips things right back with plucked strings, the sound of a man and child speaking and subtle little effects. Repeated echoing tones take over with curious scraping sounds in the background.
The next part features an organ rising out of a sea of ticking and rumbling effects, to eventually stand in near isolation until the most prominent melody on the album so far wafts over the top.
The 9th Part has a little warm warbling tone over some immensely deep rumbles. There is a sense of unease however though this is contrasted by a simple almost playful melody. The drone fades away as tinkling effects become more prominent. Relaxing stuff certainly, but with a strange edge to it.
The deep drone returns for Part 10 but it is so low that it is on the edge of hearing. Slow footsteps can be heard as crystalline tones drift skywards. A door creeks. It all has a rather dreamy feel to it that could at any time turn to nightmare but doesn`t. Whispers can just be heard but not made out.
Part 11 is somewhat more experimental in that it uses a rather unsettling glitch effect followed by rapid note loop. Other than this the backing is rather soothing but on the whole I didn`t find this track an easy listen.
Part 12 is a completely different matter however in that it is supremely relaxed with sampled monologue over the top.
The Final Part is another curious but somehow satisfying piece that has to be heard a number of times to be fully appreciated. All sorts of effects, some windy, some like deep breathing, others insectile or bestial all weave a strangely organic tapestry over which a slow three note mournful melody hangs, subtly mutating as it goes. There is a curious repeated hissing stab that brings the CD to its conclusion.
This is an `ambient` album of the highest quality. Every piece is supremely crafted. It seems like tremendous care and skill has gone into creating or selecting every sound and then combining them together in just the right setting for maximum effect. This might make you think that the music would be rather clinical but that most certainly is not the case.
It`s rather as if the artist knew what he wanted to say and made sure that the sounds were just right to do so. I am sure the ideas come first then the sounds. These tracks are true compositions not just a series of nice multilayered pads (as is the case with some inferior ambient music).
Aquavoice is the musical project of Polish synthesist Tadeusz Luczejko, who found its niche within an interesting label of EM from Poland which is plentiful of very fascinating artists. Seventh album from Tadeusz Luczejko, Cold is a disconcerting abstract and ambient symphony, of which the syncretism of tones adds a surreal dimension in a sound collage stem from all the facets of equipments and imagination of Luczejko, creating an amazing abstract journey in a musical universe as ambient as a storm of wind on a crystalline plain.
Cold I to III open this anarchic symbiosis with eclectic sonorities which abound in a sphere where the ambient crosses the abstract. Silky and wavering layers intersect themselves and howl such of spectral masses among fine droplets which stream on the walls of a cave from another world pave Cold I road. Already the contrast of places and the paradox of senses are mutual. The movement is superbly tender and the ambiance is deliciously resting whereas pulsations with tinny resonances hammer a strange procession of sounds which derive towards the oblivion of Cold II. Nothingness aromatized of motionless layers which are assail by light riffs of a discrete guitar and rattlesnake serpentines which untie their sonorities in a sound universe at the crossing of Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Markus Reuter and some will advance the name of Harold Budd, which I do not unfortunately know. Cold belongs as much to the imagination of the listener as to the conceptual idea of its creator.
Take example on Cold III where we hear someone breaking up wood in a Kitaroïan forest, whereas guitar pads circulate in loops between minimalisms and sporadic chord of keyboards, relegating to oubliettes the strange murmur of a hardly comprehensible feminine voice.
Cold IV is quite simply charming with its keyboard notes that someone taps away to the drift and which come back in loop on a fine baseline and a xylophone of glass whose notes wriggle like elytrum of a metallic cricket, shaping a stunning sensual pulsation even if completely abstract.
Cold V’ intro could have been straight from a Martian ritual exorcism that we won’t be surprise. Syncretic streak tear the quietude of a machine humming whereas a voice howls an unknown dialect, the universe becomes source of infernal din which is appeased gradually around the 3rd minute, freeing a rare peace which is soothing in the shade of a soft crystal tower.
Cold VI follows on this ethereal softness with fine pads of a solitary synth which wander among soft and silky floating and fluty lines, bringing back Cold in the bosom of a more accessible work.
Cold VII offers a morose approach where a voice of man mumbles in Polish on a slow and sad melancholic structure. A little as Vangelis on Blade Runner, Tadeusz Luczejko likes to let his notes sink in nothingness. Notes that float and wander to be molded within forms and imaginations of Aquavoice’s cofounder. With its organ surges of which hem chimerical waves, Cold VIII is the most animated track on Cold. A beautiful piece where sonorities spark on the top of lunar seas weaved to a synth with stroller waves and twisted solos which ravel in a ball of multi-colored sonorities which collide in wadding forged of steel. One of the best tracks on Cold! A soft and discrete incantation goes with a synth from which waves and streaks filled of spectral zests wander windingly among Japanese guitar notes; Cold IX is as much intriguing as Cold X which borrows an unsetting and harrowing path with its furtive noises, its weak hooting and its doors which squeak in an odd c. This 1st experiment with Aquavoice left me as perplexed as charmed per moments.
Cold is an album difficult to tame because we are constantly immersed in a sonata for background noises in a constant search of an out of joint harmony. There are great moments. Strong and disconcerting moments, I think in particular of Cold IV, VI, VIII and XIII which make that us seeking to discover more on each listening.
An undeniable sign of the immense depth which lives within Cold.
2010. Sylvain Lupari / Guts Of Darkness