Recorded in 2019, Atom TM’s and Jacek Siekiewicz’s album “Stal” (polish translation for “steel”) is now being released as a joint venture between More Music Agency, Recognition and NN. The meticulously produced physical release of “Stal” came out last month on double vinyl. It is now being completed by its digital release, both, on Jacek’s “Recognition” and AtomTM’s “NN” imprint. The parallel Bandcamp issues will be followed by the full digital release on all standard download- and streaming platforms.
There were artists in the history of popular music, whose creativity resulted in at least few albums released over the course of one year. Four and more albums a year were released by Frank Sinatra or James Brown, guitarists John Frusciante or Omar Rodriguez-Lopez also realised their visions that way, several hours worth of original output were delivered by electronic music composers, like Pete Namlook or Autechre.
In 2019, those mentioned above are joined by Jacek Sienkiewicz, whose research in the field of experimental, abstract electronic music came to life in the shape of four full-length albums.
The most important of them is “IMOW” (“In My Own Wave”); initially released in March on vinyl only, is out as digital download on 13 December. “IMOW” is Sienkiewicz’s most personal, and most thought-over and polished record. Whole palette of recording techniques – from field recordings through both real and virtual instruments to computer manipulations – is applied towards creation of very singular, sonic universe, on many levels creating alternative reality. The record was further developed into unique live show created with visual artist Katarzyna Korzeniecka, hypnotic, multi-dimensional – and fully analogue (!). Still in development, it will be continued in 2020.
“BTWN” (“Between”), released as free download, is a companion record to “IMOW”. In this case, the music was crafted solely from “trash” – digital and analogue errors, feedback, sounds of malfunctioning or stalled instruments. Surprisingly, it’s a very accessible record, closest to “classic” ambient music, dreamy and melancholic, full of subtle beauty.
“Drogi” CD was released in collaboration with Bołt Records as a tribute to Bohdan Mazurek, composer affiliated with the legendary Polish Radio Experimental Studio. Sienkiewicz, instead of recreating Mazurek’s compositions, decided rather to apply his methods of creations, utilising, among other means, his own recordings made as teenager on pocket dictaphone. The result is full of surprising twists and peculiar sense of humour.
The last of this year’s albums is “Multiversion #5” released by Instant Classic in October. This time, Jacek becomes the new incarnation of BNNT – a duo, which invited a number of musician friends to create consecutive parts of “Multiversion”. Jacek’s take is a record, where ambient passages and experimental cracks and noises are accompanied by skeletal rhythms – slow and broken, so different from Sienkiewicz’s “club” output.
Jacek has not resigned from creating stricte dance music though – quite surprisingly released “Lightin’” EP (illustrated by a fantastic video by Michal Marczak), somehow a continuation of his “hit” “Drifting” from 2015 – a piece in equal proportions epic and ethereal, sophisticated and charming.
Coming up in 2020 is “STAL”, another collaborative album recorded with Use Schmidt (Atom ™), as well as continuation of “IMOW” – another album and series of live performances.
Since his debut more than two decades ago, Jacek Sienkiewicz became something of an institution; regarded as one of the pioneers of Polish electronic music scene, for years he was recognised mainly for his dense, emotive, soulful sound, converting vocabulary of Detroit techno into his absolutely singular language. Eventually, this led to unmistakably individual sound, but also fairly secluded position.
His music, transmitted from his Warsaw base through different established channels, but primary via his own Recognition label (almost 50 releases in 20 years), albeit retaining its dancefloor potential was always in some way leaning towards experiment and adventure in sound design, and during recent few years this direction became evident.
In 2014 his collaborations with AtomTM, resulted with joint live record and solo abstract album on No. A series of performances with Max Loderbauer were documented by live album for Berlin Atonal, as well as last year’s stunning “End” CD on Recognition. Also in 2017, Jacek released “9702” LP and “9799” 12”, compiling a selection of his earliest recordings (from late 90s) – which appeared to sound shockingly fresh and up to date, also exemplifying outlines for further development and experiments. Finally, 2018 saw “123418”, a digital-only album containing four extended pieces – “abstract sound paintings”, balancing layers of heavily processed sounds with unorthodox rhythm patterns.
For this year, Jacek is preparing one of his most ambitious works to date. Divided into three records, seemingly different, yet united by general concept, it’s the result of years of studio work utilising different ways of sound manipulation. “IMOW” (“In My Own Wave”) is a set of short, heterogeneous pieces utilising hardware experimentation, drones and voice samples, an 8-part ritual equally primeval and futuristic. “BTWN” (“Between”) is a “classic” ambient album, 50 minutes of truly beautiful music, derived solely from MIDI errors and wandering synth notes. Finally, “Drogi”, released with Bołt Records, is a hommage to Bohdan Mazurek, one of the key composers of Polish contemporary electronic and electro-acoustic music, for years working at the famous Polish radio Experimental Studio. Jacek follows his offbeat approach towards sound, utilising a range of sources and techniques, from his teenage tape recordings through hardware to modern sample editing. Those three records, complimenting each other, will be released in three different formats – vinyl LP, digital download and CD and carefully mastered by Atom Tm / Uwe Schmit.
Jacek Sienkiewicz “9702” (R-CD006) – out now
release date : 02/06/2017
Recognition opens up its archives and invites to a futuristic sentimental journey with respective stages set by the “9702”. Album contains a set of varied tracks recorded within five years after Warsaw label’s launch and its first release. Extended compositions and short improvised sound notes resemble eccentric propositions of such labels as (early) Warp or Rephlex, standing next to melancholy-saturated minimalistic techno and abstract collage structures which prove out to share many characteristics of clicks’n’cuts movement of the second half of the 1990’s. Usage of human voice samples is an outstanding feature of many of these archive materials. Entirety of mastered-anew content encompassing both records, contains all principal trademarks which distinguish Jacek Sienkiewicz’s creations and his label Recognition – utmost care about depth of sound sphere, experimental inclinations and focus on complex motoric aspect of the rhythmical base. This collection of music from Recognition’s first five years, surprising for its freshness and sheer impetus, is a must for all fans of Jacek Sienkiewicz and Polish electronic music of the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Kosmos of sound phenomena is devoid of a distinct beginning and end, fluid and polymorphous. Stream of sound is continuous, no matter whether and which volatile events are registered, and which ones are omitted. It is a complex state which transgresses borders defined by source, signal and mechanism of perception. Pastoral/tropical soundscapes and post-brutalist compositions by Max Loderbauer and Jacek Sienkiewicz from their “End” CD seem to evoke those situations where can actually hear objects, shapes and time flow itself, a sort of synaesthesia which erases and obliterates beginnings and ends of events, processes and phenomena. Apocalyptic and contemplative spaces generated by this pair of seasoned sound creators explode genre bastions of ambient and IDM, leading into the spectral areas once explored by such pioneers and Popol Vuh or Ilhan Mimaroglu. Above all, etheric and extra-sensitive “End” marks the meeting of two incurable individualists, who use various tools of their trade to come up with a surprisingly atemporal effect, an insistent pulse of detail on an ever-morphing background. Without vivid commentary and recognizable soundbites of the present, “End” is simultaneously an interesting projection of hopes and anxieties of the New Age. Core of tracks included on the record has been produced on the occasion of Max and Jacek appearing as a live duo during 2015’s Berlin Atonal festival, which resulted in well received “Alpine-Tatra-Himalaian” EP “Ridges”. Remaining compositions are natural conclusion of their friendship, conversations, meetings, trips and recording sessions that operate according to the rule of free improvisation with a reduced instrumental setup.
“Hideland”, new record by Polish electronic music producer Jacek Sienkiewicz is released precisely year after “Drifting”, which largely explored tropes of classical club techno sound. Eight (nine in extended CD version) tracks comprising this album go beyond easy-to-pigeonhole genres, creating a microcosm of utopian sound constructs. Surprisingly unobvious and precisely composed release could be fascinating both for loyal fans and for new listeners looking for threads of experimentalism. It’s another intriguing proposal in Jacek Sienkiewicz’s growing discography, but above all – a laboratory where dreams and artistic visions metamorphose into concrete reality.
Instinct – highly anticipated record released by highly unanticipated duo of two labels Bocian (whose repertoire stretches from freeform noise to improvised jazz) and Recognition (known for state-of-the-art modern techno sound). Four new tracks by Jacek Sienkiewicz appear both as essence and antithesis of artist’s earlier work, instead confronting listener with hardly categorisable and puzzling form. You can still manage to hear echoes of electronic music masters (from Autechre to Xenakis) in this material, but Instinct functions as an autonomous entity, or a sound event provoking questions rather than attempting to answer them. This proposal, very distinct and floating beyond today’s tendencies, will undoubtedly worry pessimists shedding their tears over end-of-all-aesthetics and music losing its magical aura. It is also quite likely to awaken a need for further exploration in all listeners open enough – and daring enough.