WLADYSLAW KOMENDAREK: I'm an Alien (2015)
“This odd compilation of Komendarek's music for the needs of his first album on the Polish label is totally mad, wild, but deliciously good”
1 Prince of Darkness 12:45
2 Empire of the Pure Souls 12:53
3 Spring Impressions 9:42
4 Open Galaxy 25:40
5 Gunboat 10:24
(CD 71:39) (V.F.)
(Prog EM, Berlin School)
I'm an estrange. I'M AN ALIEN! There is nothing truer than this etiquette that Władysław Komendarek likes to stick to his skin. The symbolic icon of the underground music and of this music without borders that makes shiver the Polish cultural scene since nearly 30 years aligns albums which have the gift to stupefy and to seduce at each time. Because it's crazy, it's daring and especially it's very different. The polygamist of sounds and genres likes to destabilize his audience by offering a music which is renewed each time in his excesses of curiosity or still his sovereign desire of artistic independence. First solo album to appear on prestigious Polish label of EM, I'M AN ALIEN plunges into this universe of instability of the genres where the complexity of the progressive music, Komendarek was a keyboard player for the band Exodus in the 70's, goes alongside with the EM of the Berlin School style. Composed between the 80's and 90's, except for Prince of Darkness, this album invites us to a surprising collection of unreleased music selected by Generator Pl. management in order to introduce the world of Wladyslaw Komendarek to the regular customers of this label which specializes in contemporary EM. Presented in a nice digipack packaging and decorated with a superb artwork unique to the cosmic visions of this label, this compilation of old and odd tracks from Wladyslaw Komendarek forgot on the counter of time reveals all the paradoxes of this fascinating character who likes to dare and to defy the patience of your fearful ears.
And it starts with an oblong synth line that squeaks like metal writhing madly in a sound fauna stuffed with metallic rattles, stridulations of synthesized insects and other knocks of all kinds. Lost voices try to blow ethereal breezes through these metallic moans, giving Prince of Darkness a slow ambient intro that dies in its ocher scents. Repetitive knocking escapes a little before the 4th minute. Phase where Prince of Darkness becomes more musical with synth thin lines drawn from mists and absent voices which hum an abstract air on a structure of rhythm progressing on tiptoe. The sequences click and their echoes forge this sneaky rhythm, while the clicking sounds awaken memories of Tangerine Dream in Le Parc, and the layers, as well as the synth riffs, awaken those of Exit. Little by little, Prince of Darkness changes skin again to initiate a structure of more sustained rhythm where the elements zigzag in the bed of oscillations and sequences paired to percussions which will endlessly drumming a circular rhythm constantly seeking to take shape. Not too complex, not too scary, Prince of Darkness is the ideal title to invite us to this fascinating world of the Polish wizard of tones. Empire of the Pure Souls is a long title of ambiences with synth waves which wave like slow black wings spreading radioactive furrows. Cavernous voices wander in this ambient mosaic forged in the abundance of despair. The title borders both the seraphic elements, in particular with this delicious angelic choir, and Mephistophelics with the fall of a huge gargantuan organ to make the ghost of the Opera fired into his grave. Spring Impressions comes out of nowhere. It's a nice electronic ballad which is attractive and very catchy with a good rhythm, good harmonic effects and a bewitching charismatic envelope. Film music where the good are the good! Beautiful! There's a little tint of TD in Legend all over these 10 minutes of pure delight.
Open Galaxy is a long, multifaceted title open to all possibilities and knotted in all improbabilities. Indomitable, the title begins with an ambient approach where a rhythm structure abandoned on the highway of the cacophony is born. It's pretty ... strange, let's say. Organ layers come back to spice up the ambiences, while the clicks of the metallic wings sparkle like a strange race against breath that snapping sequences get clubbed with lively fluttering movements. A line of sequences makes its keys leap on a jerky gyratory movement which is always enveloped in the bed of sumptuous organ waves. Repetitive percussion drowns the approach in a kind of techno that refuses to take off, too bundled up in electronic effects to rage freely. From skin to skin, from phase to phase; Open Galaxy evolves according to the fantasies of Komendarek who plunges the title into a furious progressive rock with superb synth solos which will die in a phase either cosmic or Mephistophelic, it's according to our perception. Composed in the same period, either be in 1987, Gunboat exploits the excess and the most explosive parts of Open Galaxy but in a much more unbridled approach with synth solos which will revive in many of us the crazy years and without constraints by Keith Emerson. In small doses, it's so furious!
And this is a good advice if your ears are rubbing for the first time to the world of Władysław Komendarek. But there is everything in this I'M AN ALIEN. Good Berlin School stuff! Ambiance that will swallow you and a sublime electronic ballad topped with a bewitching melody. And finally ... madness! But it's good. It's like this character who always finds a way to seduce. Even in its wildest excesses!
Sylvain Lupari (May 5th, 2015) *****