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Old 07-22-2009, 02:42 AM   #109 (permalink)
Barely Disheveled Zombie
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,194

Treny – Jacaszek (2008)

GENRES – Electronic, Ambient, Classical

Rytm To Nieśmiertelność I (- 5:26
Lament - 6:54
Orszula - 3:36
Żal - 4:58
Powoli - 5:54
Taniec - 5:05
O Ma Żałości - 5:32
Tren IV - 3:34
Walc - 3:12
Martwa Cisza - 5:14
Rytm To Nieśmiertelność II - 4:46

2008 was a ridiculous year for music in my opinion. Nympheas, Volksstrurm, Bersarin Quartett, Blackfilm, Dig Lazarus Dig, and that’s just to name a few. Over the year, the two albums of the year changed around, and as the year came to a close, the decision was mainly between Volkssturm and DLD. That is until one November evening, stumbling around random blogs to find the next fix, I came across Treny. ‘Dark Ambient, Experimental, Classical’, I thought I may as well give it a try. The album cover wasn’t exactly inspiring, but I am hardly the one to let that impact me too much. Downloaded, loaded into Foobar, press play. It’s a bit hard to describe the feeling, but there was little doubt that it was almost instantly my favourite album of 2008.

‘Rytm To Nieśmiertelność I’ caught me from the opening with its slow, haunting reverberating sounds, lightly mixed to catch the listener from falling off-guard. It builds up perfectly, beginning slowly, but with melancholy, as the intensity increases ever so slightly, before light plucking of a harp intervenes, sharp, but leaving a strong trail in its wake. Soon, a small string ensemble enters the piece, with two distinct performances, dragging you from one side to another. Light ethereal vocals are introduced, and although the basic beat from the start hasn’t changed, the sum of all the small parts lead to an amazing dynamic. The electronics are minimal enough to make the balance remain the same, but are great when they are present. They don’t interfere – Rather they evolve the sound.

‘Lament’ is introduced by a deep bass line, slightly distorted, fuzz flying through the background, as the strings begin to cry out, the harp plucked away in the background, yet at the same time, impossible to ignore. The ghostly vocals pierce through the wall, leaving the violins in their wake, the two instruments rarely used in conjunction. Whilst the song carries a distinct sombre and melancholic tone, it is one that doesn’t induce fear. It is essential listening for anyone. Throughout, the ears are never rested, a constant veil of feedback masking any hint of respite, before the ending comes, all electronics drawn back to leave a single stroke of a piano key.

‘Orszula’ is kicked off marvellously, various levels of electronic tones and feed back being used as a backing for a solemn and sparse piano performance. The track almost relishes its minimalism, content in the small things, rather than going large, before everything joins in at once. Light percussion, the small ensemble follow this basic melody, and still nothing feels crowded. ‘Zal’, similarly to the previous tracks uses electronics and piano to make the base, wonderfully distorted, whilst the vocals slowly emerge from the background, never quite the focus of the song until much later. Nothing is clean, most having some level of distortion or variation. The violins sound as if they are screaming, a marvellous performance.

‘Powoli’ seems almost more frivolous (For lack of better term), carrying a more aggressive, and at times, playful tone. Within this, however, is a dark and almost malevolent being. Extreme fuzziness, hints of talking, and other such oddities such as a heartbeat make it all the more interesting to dissect. Nothing seems in-sync, which only adds to the playful suggestions make earlier in the track. Amazingly, the album hasn’t put a foot wrong so far. ‘Taniec’ almost reminds me of an old classical composition you know you have heard, but can’t quite but your finger on, but with an electronic mix over the top.

‘O Ma Zalosci’ attacks the senses with a constant reverberating sound in your ears. Not necessarily loud, the tone and pitch offers no respite, before it softens, allowing the vocals to come into play. The song itself summons emotions of resentment and sorrow, yet there is nothing the protagonists can do about it. At times it almost reminded me of an old French film I once saw, and only remember some key moments and parts of the soundtrack, offering film noir ideas and suggestions. ‘Tren IV’ once again uses the harp to full advantage, creating a sense of floating, as you are left clawing at small widgets of noise. The construct of the piece really is amazing, almost seeming hopefully, without offering too much of an upbeat nature and beat.

‘Walc’ offers an almost under water attraction, before you slowly reach the surface. The sounds are almost random, both in their nature and distortion, and it quickly has become another favourite of mine. It offers so many minimal qualities, but at the same time, it isn’t purely due to a lack of noise. The beat is positive, and the vocals reflect as such. ‘Martwa Cisza’ offers up another piano based track, as the protagonist and antagonist meet for one final battle. The album finishes with a nice bookend in ‘Rytm To Nieśmiertelność II’, finishing the ideas presented in the opening track in a more positive light.

Chances are most of those who try out the album will be bored out of their lights. Admittedly, ambient music isn’t the ‘perfect music for any situation’. However, when it comes to special albums, personally I can crank them at any time and be happy. Treny is a special album in that regards. It almost doesn’t matter when I play it, it can be the perfect going to sleep music, or the perfect morning ‘after a drinking session’ music, or the middle of a bright or raining day. From start to finish it captivates, and easily gets the nod for best album of 08, which is a pretty tough race to win in my book. Fantastic listen.


- Rtym To Niesmiertelnosc I
- Lament
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