Piotr Kurek – World Speaks (Edições CN)

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Piotr Kurek is a Warsaw based composer and multi-instrumentalist. He makes really peculiar music. World Speaks does some really strange things with voice, not just in choral but strange fragments of utterings that are part singing, part outsider art. He’s accompanied these mysterious verbalisations with organ and reeds, which lends a real folkloric, feel. It’s sparse and a little rickety, nothing fits together perfectly, vocals often oscillate unexpectedly in strange repetitions or drone on while the organ weaves in and out and if you squint your ears and lean a little to the left and stand on one foot maybe this ramshackle confluence of sounds all comes together in a medieval kind’ve way? But the question remains: What is it? Is it an absent minded ritual? Low-key avant-garde? Some kind of traditional less twee form of folktronica? I don’t really know, and that’s what makes it so fascinating. It feels really loose, not fully formed, there’s air in here and a feeling of endless possibility. Anything can and possibly will happen. At times it’s difficult to differentiate between musicality or high-minded experimentalism and nonsense. What is this clunky hypnotism that I’m experiencing?

He references the painting of Thomas Cole, an English painter born in 1801 and known for his majestic landscapes, yet this music feels less born of art than earth. It does feel old, but it’s a wet and muddy old, the kind of music that would happen at a renaissance fair if everyone took mushrooms. It’s joyfully eccentric and strangely spellbinding. It’s nice to be hypnotised by something that refuses uniformity at every turn and messes with our compulsive need for musical feng shui. Sometimes being very odd and refusing to adhere to societies expectations and make music on your own terms can pay off. This is one of those rare scenarios. I don’t know what this is but I love it.

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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

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