Jacaszek - Treny


Michal Jacaszek's 'Treny' is the seventh release from Norway's Miasmah label - a label that has already created a unique and distinctive identity for itself through a string of releases existing in the darker side of the musical spectrum. Bringing together a variety of musicians and composers from around the world, each artist shares a similar aesthetic and a penchant for introspective, lamenting, classically-influenced music. With this in mind, no better home comes to mind for the new album by Poland's Jacaszek - in fact, it could even be argued that 'Treny' typifies the Miasmah 'sound' and encapsulates everything that is so gripping about the label right now.

The opening track, 'Rytm to Niesmiertelnosc I', sets the dimly-lit scene perfectly. A beautifully arranged string quartet and a lonesome female voice are framed with waves of distant underwater rumbles and creaks, with fragments of harp occasionally breaking to surface to release mournful motifs onto the dense musical canvas. It could be argued that the talent that Mr. Jacaszek holds is in his perfect blending of acoustic and electronic sounds, inasmuch that it is hard to tell where tape loops end and forlorn violin melodies begin.

By the beginning of the second piece, the appropriately titled 'Lament', Jacaszek has already firmly established a sound for himself. Clearly influenced by the liturgical compositions of Henryk Gorecki or John Tavener, with a healthy pinch of Angelo Badalamenti's mood-setting soundscapes, Jacaszek manages to find his own niche somewhere between Murcof and Francois Tetaz's indispensible score for 'Wolf Creek' - somewhere dark and mysterious but ultimately beautifully rewarding and moving.

There are traces of optimism in these songs, and as the album ends with 'Rytm to Niesmiertelnosc II', the clouds turn from a heavy grey to a uplifting palette of autumnal shades as a subtle rhythm emerges to gently guide the listener into lighter pastures. Despite the somewhat uplifting ending, as the last note strikes you may find yourself wanting to turn back into the darkness and start the whole adventure again. Wrap up warm, and carry enough supplies for many years of repeated listening...




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