1. Curved Engines pt 01
2. Curved Engines pt 02
3. Curved Engines pt 03
4. Curved Engines pt 04
5. Curved Engines pt 05
6. Curved Engines pt 06
7. Restless Water Shapes pt 01
8. Restless Water Shapes pt 02
9. Restless Water Shapes pt 03
10. Restless Water Shapes pt 04
11. Restless Water Shapes pt 05
12. Restless Water Shapes pt 06
13. Restless Water Shapes pt 07
14. Restless Water Shapes pt 08
15. Moving Glasses pt 01
16. Moving Glasses pt 02
17. Moving Glasses pt 03
18. Moving Glasses pt 04
19. Moving Glasses pt 05
20. Moving Glasses pt 06
21. Moving Glasses pt 07
Vinyl 12" | Including download card and poser!
Concept albums are a rare species. They seem to have a tendency to show up late on revered artists timelines. Post teenage angst and the sheer unlimited energy of the early stages of the human condition, they convey a strategy that’s often been shaped by matured ideas coming together over the years. It is seldom that these are debut records. Gajek’s compositions however have grown quietly under the radar, heard only by those in his inner circle. In a way this is not a debut – as this music has ripened over the course of many years. But whilst his visual oeuvre has been out there for a while, accompanying the music of Warp’s Clark, Gajeks own audio is only now seeing the light of the public.
After Chris Clark had passed some of Gajeks sheer endless output over to Modeselektor, quite a few listening sessions followed. Ranging from post-rocky electronica to complex and moody renderings of intricate introverted beat structures to a mutant dance music, a whole audioscape had to be discovered. There were songs and tracks and experiments there, morphed vocals and reverberated non human instruments, complex percussion patterns and sweet athmospheres, but in all these different paths and moods, a penchant for working with a leitmotif could be traced.
As an introduction to expose his particular working method, a concept mini-album was carefully crafted. Filled with 21 short tracks circling around 3 main motifs this record lays bare one of Monkeytown’s new artists main strenghts. The creation of a soundscape that explores a notion of something athmospheric hidden away under the material of the zeitgeist. Working with variations of rythmic elements it seems like the 3 parts of this album tell very short but intricately entwined stories equal to the miniature worlds contained in snow globes. They contain references to their larger musical counterparts in Gajeks other works, but shaken and stirred and sometimes snowed under. One is quickly drawn into this music, challenged to find the thread and follow it into its different outfits and scenarios.
The first complex entitled „Curved Engines“ evolves around a major scale played over two octaves with the exclusion of a few notes. Its friendly and simple melody is examined in every possible direction almost like a classical minimalist piano piece. The second one „Restless Water Shapes“ explores a repetitive rythmic pattern, which is evolving over the course of its 8 parts, sometimes reminiscent of early Autechre, but combined with a more jazz based approach. On its course, the pattern morphs from being played on actual percussions, to drony pads and sirens synthesized from vocals until it breaks into actual composed pieces on track 9, 12 and 14. Here, various of the afore-heard elements come together and form moments of extreme beauty and calmness while challenging the listener to come closer, hear more, better, finer.
Complex 3 „Moving Glasses“ starts like an overture to a digital „Zarathrustra“. Synthezised arpeggios sounding like a muted bamboo – harpsichord are interrupted by a syncopated beat swinging in an upside down gesture like an exclamation mark. Some of the elements of the former complexes appear, culminating in a more orchestrated apparel. Where the other parts explore a musical structure this one is devoted to (a) form. This form could be called „electronic dance music“, if this expression wasnt already taken for the cheap mainstream rendering of autotuned four to the floor. In a different speak one could also say „almost techno“. „Moving Glasses“ offers the most apparent references to club – music in its various forms ranging from hip hop to techno but also finding its way back to ambient and electronica.
You can consume this album without paying attention to the „concept“ part of it, no worries, it is a masterfully crafted piece of intelligent electronica that is as pleasant to listen to, as it is thought though. But you can also dig deep and let yourself be amazed by the mindgames of this young producer, who is by the way also just gaining his „Meisterschüler“ in the visual arts. His idiosyncratic mastery of music however was obtained autodidactically. And that makes the beauty of it.