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(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.
TRACK LIST: 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 LINEUP: Mariusz Sobanski – guitars Milosh Krauz – drums Tom Struk – bass Michal Fetler – saxophones Michal Pijewski – saxophones Robert Bielak – violin With: 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
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