RUDZ & PAUSZEK: Panta Rhei II (2020)
Updated: Jan 26
“As far as I'm concerned, this is an excellent EM album where its audacity makes of it a must. One of the best in 2020!”
1 Where We Came From 22:41
2 Absolute 19:44
3 Musings at the Hazy River Part 3 11:30
4 Arche 9:42
5 Panta Rhei Part 3 16:05
6 Where We Came From (narration by Wiktor Niedzicki) 22:02
(DDL 141:44) (V.F.)
(Progressive EM, Orchestral EM)
Following the finale of Panta Rhei Part 2, from the Panta Rhei I album, Where We Came From appears behind lappings of water. Orchestrations awaken at the same time as the cries of children. An elusive tune remains behind, as the kids' cries intensify to the same level as the dull implosions of a bass' nebulous reverbs. And there, the first chills! An air quite similar to the attempted communications between man and aliens, as heard in Close Encounter of the Third Kind, rises with authority. Its shadows are muddled, except for effeminate synth streaks and stardust which start to sparkle in a previously established disorder. I vaguely hear the strokes of oars and voices of a mismatched choir as peace settles in with its sound effects. Including these immense reverberations which obscure the ambiences, still illuminated by prisms and an evasive ticking. A little after the 7 minutes mark, aboriginal drums begin to roll and thunder in an impressive dance of life. The sound of the percussions is admirably well reproduced, and with keyboard riffs it forges a spasmodic trance. Moreover, the mosquitoes are dancing furiously, gradually becoming the effects of a synth which propels its 2 continuous jets under the airs of undulating reverberations. The rhythm always remains frenetic and becomes as if isolated before Where We Came From undertakes an electronic and cosmic turn with synth solos booming like saxophonists on the banks of a sea without water. Always dominated by these aboriginal percussions and drums, the rhythm operates the 5th phase of this long track around the 15th minute. Its echo beats muted before it takes back half of its energy in a phase where the ambiences dictate a slow tempo whose charm of the starry melody still belongs to the percussions which changed the course of Where We Came From for an umpteenth time. This time, their destiny belongs to a guitar and its ambivalent solos which evolves in a space where the Cosmos touches the Western with a funky bass and jerky orchestrations. A finale evolving like a Tower of Babel where however, the melodious threads touch each other in the hums of a goddess voice. Phew! What a whole 23 minutes of EM that Polish duo Przemysław Rudź and Tomasz Pauszek gives us within a magnificent album. It's a little more than two years later than Panta Rhei I, an album much more ambient, that PANTA RHEI II appears on the threads of the Internet. Available from Audio Anatomy in factory pressed 2 CD digipack, on vinyl and in download format, this second part is quite different, at least for the rhythms, by offering a progressive EM that the rhythmic canvas holds at arm's length. Very impressive, PANTA RHEI II had become a necessity following the great success, both by audiences and critics, of its predecessor. The duo Rudź & Pauszek deliver an album of 141 minutes of daring EM where the reminiscences of a Vangelis, in this time where he liked so much to shake the columns of EM, is transposed from volume 1 to this one.
Like the previous title, Absolute has the fear of remaining sedentary. Its openness lets you hear arpeggios, dressed in the tones of Vangelis, floating in breezes of cavernous voices. The restrained momentums are a source of implosive eddies that stir like a layer of purple magma. Thin synth blades whistle and turn into laments of astral mermaids. The dark blue of the dead matter becomes a viscous water which oxygenates itself through its lappings. Witnesses of this evolution in sounds and timbres, our ears send chills to us when another form of tribal rhythm explodes around 6 minutes. Intense and surrounded by oscillating synth loops, this rhythm beats our ears for a big 4 minutes, when Absolute deviates towards a phase of ambiences where synth solos are flying with a wish to become a guitar. Drifting in a soundless zone, the solos are rather caught up in a rhythmic sphere set on a strong bass line and a base of rhythm in search of its genesis. Here again, a Vangelis-style choir surrounds this rhythm, the scents of which exude the orchestrations of the famous Greek musician. According to my tastes, Musings at the Hazy River Part 2 from the first part of Panta Rhei was its jewel. So, I was eager to hear Musings at the Hazy River Part 3. Discord and a form of sonic anarchy remain the focus of its introduction, accompanied by a nice fluty tune, sharp synth blades and airy vocals reciting its lalalalala… The rhythm falls after the 4 minutes. Manual percussion and rubbery pulsating bass are the first ingredients for a good 2 minutes and oh surprise! It's towards the flora of Zoolook that Przemysław Rudź and Tomasz Pauszek attract us. Organic and natural, this rhythmic team is as lively as this Thai festive tune that surrounds the sonorous antics of synthesizers. Imagine a neighborhood party in New Orleans where trumpets and saxophones have been replaced by synths and you have this fabulous rhythmic part from Musings at the Hazy River Part 3.
Arche is an atmospheric track beginning with a Halloween-like melody that fades with the arrival of rowdy percussions and a mocking synth line. She persists and her melodic circle continues to fascinate, even when surrounded by voices. A second cycle develops and ends in a section of an abandoned station. It has become a mass of sounds that breathe in an abstract setting where several sound elements are born and combine towards a jerky framework. Synth solos launch high arias in this section which has become static and noisy. Coming out of a gutted horn, Panta Rhei Part 3 is the most homogeneous of the 5 structures of PANTA RHEI II. Its opening respects those of the 4 other titles, but for the rest ... As soon as the timidity of the sequencer turns into synth-pop to be harpooned by the elastic pulsations of a bass line vibrating on the spot, Panta Rhei Part 3 flees into the throat of a symphonic procession. The movement is superbly heavy with impetus skipping from one musical giant leap to another which guide us towards more melodious sections to the sound of fanfare percussions. An incredibly effective track at the level of liveliness, Panta Rhei Part 3 also offers small quiet moments before resuming this road of symphonic rhythm which closes a surprising album from start to finish!
Przemysław Rudź and Tomasz Pauszek offer a bonus track in Where We Came From which is narrated by the famous popularizer of science in Poland, Wiktor Niedzicki. The texts are in Polish only and describe bis visions of the human race history and its journeys through history with all its ups and downs. This closes for good this wonderful album. And as far as I'm concerned, PANTA RHEI II is an excellent EM album where its audacity makes of it a must. One of the best albums of 2020 in fact!
Sylvain Lupari (January 25th, 2021) ****½*
Disponible au Przemysław Rudź Bandcamp