ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Light Coorporation - 2011 - "Rare Dialect"

(43:39, ReR Megacorp)


Prolusion. The Polish group LIGHT COORPORATION was formed in 2007. Four years later they signed a distribution deal with the avant-garde label ReR Megacorp (which is run by Henry Cow’s Fred Frith) and have released two albums through it so far. "Rare Dialect", the band's debut outing, saw the light of day in 2011.

1.  Transparencies 0:46
2.  Tokyo Streets Symphony 10:29
3.  Maestro X 5:52
4.  Ethnic Melody from the Saturn 5:25
5.  The Legend of Khan's Abduction 6:09
6.  The Seven Wells 5:06
7.  Merchaw Zman 9:52


Mariusz Sobanski – guitars 
Milosh Krauz – drums 
Tom Struk – bass 
Michal Fetler – saxophones 
Michal Pijewski – saxophones 
Robert Bielak – violin 
Marcin Szczesny – Rhodes, synthesizer

Analysis. The album is made up of seven tracks, almost all of them ranging from 5 to 10 minutes in length. The only exception here is the opening one, Transparencies (0:46), a soundscape with a rather menacing atmosphere. The rest of the material falls into three stylistic categories. One of them includes The Legend of Khan's Abduction and Merchaw Zman, pieces that strongly differ from all of the others, created spontaneously, I suppose. Both of them flow into focus slowly, as if reluctantly, at first with cymbals backing drifty synthesizers, and then with light drums accompanying slow, yet often unvectored saxophone, guitar, violin and bass solos, with synthesizers shimmering in the background. Gradually the music gets more intelligible outlines, appearing as a cross between Jazz-Fusion and free jazz, but then lacks cohesion again, featuring up to four contrasting motifs that have no relationship to each other, the band pushing the improvisational envelope without maintaining a sense of melody. Any real music must have stability (I believe, you know what I mean), but this one doesn’t have it. As a result, I see these two pieces as being decent at best. The other four tracks are much more compelling; all of them are composed throughout, all showing that the sextet can combine a few styles and in a very effective way. Tokyo Streets Symphony and Seven Wells both find the musicians creating an admirable blurring of the frontiers separating Alternative (plus a sort of Alt Metal in the latter case), Funk and avant-garde Progressive. In this respect, both of them remind me somewhat of King Crimson’s “Beat” or, rather, “The First Day”, the 1993 collaborative effort by Robert Fripp and David Sylvian, a harbinger of the then-next incarnation of Robert’s main band. The thing missing here is vocals, while on the other hand there are saxophones, which are absent on either of the cited creations, all of which speaks well in favor of ambitions of the heroes of this occasion. Although the drummer sticks to largely the same pace, the guitar, saxophones and bass make the compositions sound diverse, even splendid in places. When I listened to them, Mariusz Sobanski has often kept me guessing whether he would use a distorted or a clearer guitar tone, coloring the arrangements nicely, at times delivering a series of quirky notes that, again, recall ‘80s Robert Fripp & Co to some degree. Normally avoiding the unison playing that traps many brass players, the band’s two saxophonists for the most part focus on blending in with Mariusz’s guitars, whilst the remaining two tracks, Maestro X and Ethnic Melody from the Saturn, contain some really frantic sax leads, both of them brilliant creations. Here, the group is simply fearless in its effort to merging avant-garde, RIO-ish Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion with the force of progressive Doom Metal – an approach pioneered by King Crimson in 1973-‘74. So the music is one of deep exploration: not achieving the height of complexity, but pretty close to that. All of the musicians, meaning the violin player included, share the spotlight here and serve to keep the compositions very interesting throughout.

Conclusion. Most of the album’s contents suggest that it’s titled properly rather than otherwise. I hope it’s clear from the review that its creators to a greater degree rely on their own compositional talents than on their sources of inspiration. Either way, this is by and large a remarkable creation. Despite the above criticism, it comes recommended to anybody who isn’t attached to one or another genre, but is interested in various manifestations of progressive rock music.

VM=Vitaly Menshikov: December 7, 2012
The Rating Room

Light Coorporation - 2011 - "Rare Dialect"


Analysis. Hailing from Poland, LIGHT COORPORATION is an ensemble that aims to blend progressive rock and avant-garde jazz, adding a multimedia component for live purposes. "Rare Dialect" is their debut album. Poland has established itself as a nation producing a wide array of interesting bands in the last decade or so, covering most parts of the art rock universe. And while neo progressive acts and bands exploring a stylistic expression closer to progressive metal arguably have been the ones who have made most of an impact, artists taking on a more adventurous approach also appear with regular intervals. And Light Coorporation is a good example of just that. When you aim to blend progressive rock with avant-garde jazz, I guess there are a number of different manners in which that can be accomplished, limited by your imagination only presumably. In the case of Light Coorporation my experience was that they utilized to main approaches. The least utilized one was also the one I found least interesting, although followers of avant-garde music will probably think otherwise. The Legend of Khan's Abduction and Merchaw Zman are the cases in question, fragmented searching pieces that occasionally assemble in structured sequences, but by and large are individual instrument and sound effects given free reign without any obvious framework as such. And while the second of these pieces towards the end does assemble in perhaps the most intriguing and magical theme found on this disc, the totality of these compositions isn't quite to my taste. They are well made though, and I suspect those with a passion for free form excursions will find these constructions to be most enticing. The remaining pieces on this disc are of quite another nature however, disregarding the brief opening piece, creations that, at least to my ears, appear to have their core foundations in the rhythm department. Sometimes simple but effective and other times refined and fairly sophisticated drum patterns, always paired off with a highly enticing bass line. The latter is a real treat in itself, of the kind that can be enjoyed without any further instrumentation supplementing it. But with dual saxophones on top, careful and clever use of guitar and violin, and one brilliant instance of screeching, distorted instrument details courtesy of either guitars or violin, the band has a wide instrumental palette to utilize, which they do in a brilliant manner. A brief free form sequence added in here, impact riffs given a brief visit there, harder edged riff constructions used to conclude another song there – inventive, creative and fairly free of common boundaries, but within a framework although one rather free of obstructions. The common denominator throughout, other than the aforementioned rhythm section, is the just about ever present saxophone, and most commonly a dual presence at that, used to very good effect as harmonizing and contrasting features. The end result is a very interesting debut album that documents a creative ambition. They won't ever make the Billboard charts with their music, but they will gain a lot of respect from fellow musicians and hopefully a steadily growing number of fans that appreciate innovative, challenging jazz-oriented progressive rock.

Conclusion. "Rare Dialect" is a high quality debut album from Light Coorporation. Taking their cues from freeform jazz, fusion and art rock, they have cooked up a highly enjoyable, innovative and fairly challenging musical stew. Open minded followers of sophisticated art rock, fusion and jazz alike should all find plenty to enjoy on this CD, a production that merits a check by those who feel they are a part of the outlined target audience.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: December 7, 2012
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Light Coorporation
ReR Megacorp


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages