Review Summary: A thrilling debut from an innovative Jazz group that may have a bright future ahead of them.
Niechęć's extraordinary debut, Śmierć w miękkim futerku
, is an endeavor into a deranged musical experience. The music fluctuates under its own agenda, with each instrument solely driven with an obsession to be as unpredictable as possible. We never really know where Niechęć is going to take us, often alluding us with one intention, before alternating into another, but that's the underlying beauty of this album. It loves to induce a feeling of suspense into the listener. Always keeping us on our toes and ever baffled as to what to expect. The album's opener, "After You"
, is a symphony of an anarchical nature. From coating us with relaxing and understated saxophone notes that seem to float along in an ambient landscape, to casting us into an abyss of instrumental discord, Niechęć spare no expense at being as enigmatic as possible, but the experience is utterly exquisite. The musicianship may be working on a more obscure level, but the sensations and reactions they want their music to inspire within the listener are executed with absolute perfection.
Niechęć takes the instrumental virtuosity and harmonic aesthetics of post-bop and blends it with electronic surrealism. We even see the band incorporating subtle tones of rock music into the mix, but it is by no means reminiscent to jazz fusion. "Taksówkarz"
is one of the highlights of the album because it displays every aspect perviously discussed into one structural frenzy. It begins with a very conventional jazz arrangement. Like traditional bebop, the bass and drums provide a rhythmic theme while the solo instruments, in this case the piano and saxophone, assert themselves as the dominant pieces of the music as they take turns to perform solos and occasionally assimilating into the melodic framework of the background section. As "Taksówkarz"
continues to progress, its soundscape becomes much more abstract as synthesizers and guitars begin to surface into our perception, but the music never loses its jazzy vibe.
is one of the more gentle pieces of the album and certainly one of the most accessible. Immediately the piano and saxophone arrangements exude a lighter tone with a sensual and calming tempo. The drums are much more agile, and the combination of these two components along with ominous synthesizer flourishes, keeps us a little edgy. Just waiting for that moment of abrupt craziness that Niechęć loves indulging into. But that doesn't quite happen here. Instead we get only the sense that something much more erratic is about to happen, as we enjoy an eloquent coalescence of solos from pianist Tomasz Wielechowski and to a much more prominent extent by saxophonist Maciek Zwierzchowsk. And from here we descend into a realm of atmospheric psychedelia in "Relaks dub"
. We continue to float along in an ambient soundscape throughout the midsection of "Drugi turnus w Pucku"
, until the instruments erupt into another intensive jam. As we find ourselves well into the inner depth of Śmierć w miękkim futerku
, it becomes abundantly clear that Niechęć love exposing us to two musical scenerios- sensuous ambiences and displaying eruptive instrumental adroitness.
The latter section of the album perhaps contains the most eminent moments in Śmierć w miękkim futerku
. From the moody atmosphere of "Prozac"
, to the surreal psychedelic rock displays of "Fecaliano"
, and finally climaxing with the dreary and surrealistic flaunts of ambient bebop in the eponymous closing track. I cannot express my enjoyment when first listening to these assortment of songs. The album certainly isn't anything groundbreaking, but in its imaginative musical creativity, Niechęć have orchestrated a rather enticing sound that is not necessarily unique, but it also isn't too analogous with any other artist in the jazz scene today. Śmierć w miękkim futerku
is haunting, esoteric, and wild. It's an album that will be sure to keep the listener infatuated with its genius and capitulated in its magnetizing allure for a very, very long time.