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 jeff gburek & karolina ossowska

 v i s i t a t i o n s

 cd + digital download >

From olew nick  > Gburek is a thoughtful fellow and this release arrives with plenty of text, both in the disc insert and in accompanying material. The former is poetic in nature while the latter encompasses Benford numbers, meteorological concerns (both "out there" and "body weather"), the 2012 US Presidential election and a biblical citation. I'm doubtless missing aspects of how these and other elements enter into "Visitations", but it's, in audio terms, more than challenging and sprawling enough to deal with on its own. The principals are Gburek (guitars, field recordings, bass recorder, electronics and processing) and his wife, Ossowska (violin, keyboards, penny-whistle, collages) with flutist Asia Zielecka making an appearance on one track. "Hallucinogenic" is one word that recurred in my head while listening; there's an intense, dreamlike feeling to much of the music, propelled often by Gburek's guitar (which often possesses a tone that toward which I'm not too partial) and Ossowska's violin (which I like very much) amidst a swirl of spacey keyboards and mutant field recordings, occasionally soaring along rockish heights, other times lingering amidst abstracted ambient sounds and small percussive noises. The violin lines (sometimes multi-tracked) tend to have a strong and very attractive Romantic quality, I might go as far as to say with a fine Polish or northeastern European cast; they provide some of my favorite moments on the disc. In fact, there are numerous episodes that are quite beautiful scattered throughout (the ending several minutes of the second track, for instance and all of the eighth); trying to process the work as whole, which I get the impression is what the musicians would like, is a tougher task. You pretty much have to succumb to its logic, something I couldn't quite do entirely, instead appreciating this section very much, the next not so much. But that's dreaming for you.


It's really an impressive effort though, even if I'm on the fence about it re: pure enjoyment. There's a lot to dig into. Oh, and there are thunderstorms. Loud ones.



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