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  • Sylvain Lupari

KONRAD KUCZ: Railroad Paths (2008)

A simply brilliant album by the Polish synthesist whose only fault is to have gone unnoticed

1 Path I 10:05

2 Path II 5:23

3 Path III 7:00

4 Path IV 14:46

5 Path V 13:26

6 Robotic Missions 4:24 GEN CD 005

(CD 55:07) (V.F.)

(Ambient, E-Rock, Berlin School)

After a heavy, hermetic and darkly ambient album in Via Contemplativa Litania, Konrad Kucz strikes with full strenght by offering a splendid album with the sounds of yesteryear. RAILROAD PATHS is at the crossroads of an analog universe where scents of Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream marinate on structures animated by rhythms in constant movements. Interchangeable structures where the ambient style adopts marvellously the rhythms and sounds of a French EM from the 70's (J-MJ, Space Art, Heldon and Thierry Fervant) which cross the precepts of a Berlin School à la Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream.

A nice flute harmonizes its melody on a stream that sparkles at the opening of Path I. The notes are high and draw arches of poetry on a musical background of enchanted forest. A synth envelops this ode to centaur with its sinuous waves, bringing it towards the underground lairs. There where good sound hoops undulate, forgetting the rhythm and flowing gracefully on a linear movement. A movement that transpires heavy synthesized waves. They swarm in a powerful musical canvas where strong layers of a dark organ mold its movements in a maelstrom filled with baroque and sinister choruses, before concluding in a loud noise with analog eddies. A long black, ambient and sinuous intro which discharges its rhythmic anger on Path II with a synth with tendrils which roll in jerky loops, whose mesh of ferrules sculpts an undulating sequence under a sky covered with variegated tones. This train of intermingled sequences follows its course under quite good undulating strata, ending its route in a honeyed tranquility where choruses and chirps form a nectar of serenity. Path III is more impactful with chords that twirl in cascade and whose zigzagging spirals form a strange ballet on a heavy movement. The music embraces a more airy and clearly more progressive tangent, recalling the universe of Heldon with percussions which hammer a very cosmic rock beat and its vocoder with very East-West scents from Richard Pinhas. A good title!

Path IV offers a very nice sequenced structure which rolls like a train under superb synth solos. Solos which undulate and zigzag with a very good dexterity and which recalls Klaus Schulze's synchronism of sequencer versus synth. In constant progression, the rhythm plunges into scintillating mellotron sweets before resuming a rhythmic ascent identical to the intro of Path III, in order to plunge back into the weeping layers of a dense and dark mellotron. This forms a wonderful chant that will awaken a multitude of memories in the ears of music lovers of the 70's. Path V opens with a nice mellotron layer which extends its coat until the first 3 minutes. Subsequently, an undulating rhythm winds its way through a structure filled of mist. A mist that dissipates, suggesting a rhythmic anarchy that enfolds under the flutes of a hybrid mellotron. A track where the rhythm struggles to pierce the density of the mellotron with the thick mist and the bewitching flute before concluding in the half-light of a derailed train under the misty scents of Tangerine Dream. With its mechanical rhythm and its extremely melodious vocoder, a bit like Kraftwerk, Robotic Missions clashes with this enchanting universe that surrounds RAILROAD PATHS. But then again, Konrad Kucz dithers between the simple melody and the rhythmic complexities that abound on this brilliant. A simply brilliant album by the Polish synthesist whose only fault is to have gone unnoticed.

Sylvain Lupari (November 16th, 2010) *****

Available at Generator pl

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