January 19, 2007

Jacek Sienkiewicz & Marek Raczkowski - Warsaw for Beginners

Jacek Sienkiewicz has, slowly but surely, been nailing the craft. Recent releases on his label Recognition have reached sublime heights of mean, moody, and magnificent techno, full of interlocking parts, sudden bad moods and noodling string pluck melodies capable of tugging even tautly tuned heartstrings. Late 2005’s “Double Secret Life” found its way onto both Tobi Neumann’s fantastic Fliederlieder mix and Lawrence’s Groove compilation as the crescendo selection, and with good cause.

Given the incredible polish (ahem) that Sienkiewicz has managed to achieve of late, it’s odd that he would choose to release “Warsaw for Beginners” (co-produced with Marek Raczkowski). Why weird? Simply because, despite a wealth of inventive ideas and odd combinations of almost “Guru Josh” piano lines, boisterous digitechno rhythms, and delicate au Harem textures, this feels like a strange sketch, a study for a far greater and more interesting EP that wasn’t quite realized. I keep waiting in vain for “it” to happen—maybe this music needs new ears that are still growing. Give me time on that one, but for the moment, this is an eccentric, promising cacophony that doesn’t quite hit the spot.

Recognition / r-epo019
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[Peter Chambers]