When I got the album from Krzysztof Lepiarczyk it immediately rang a bell. Krzysztof Lepiarczyk was one of the founding members of the Polish progressive rock band Loonypark. Insiders will know that Loonypark is a neo progressive rock band in which keyboards are playing a prominent role. And guess what, Krzysztof played these keyboards. In my opinion, many reviewers have a love/hate relationship with Loonypark. Some really love the band, others are more skeptical. I must confess that I belong to the last group.
On his first solo album Krzysztof uses a lot of (guest) musicians. The following musicians take part in this project: Michał Dolata (guitar), Marek Smelkowski (guitar and vocals), Michał Bylica (trumpet), Magda Grodecka (vocals), Aleksandra Kozubal (vocals), Sabina Godula-Zając (vocals) and Krzysztof Lepiarczyk (other instruments).
Most noticeable is the absence of a drummer. After I listened to the album for the first time, it was clear to me that Krzysztof programmed the drums. I think this is a pity. Real drums would have made the album more dynamic. But that's my opinion.
The album starts mid-tempo with the track I Still Remember. The track has lovely chorus parts in which guitar and keyboards take the lead. The singing is really high quality. A beautiful female voice makes this track one of my favorites. Dr Schouermann is an instrumental track which starts rather melancholic. Nice piano playing and subtle guitar parts form the base of this song. These first two tracks have little IQ influence. Arthroscopy is also an instrumental song. It has a lot of tension in it. Looming parts are alternated by great atmospheric parts. Once more guitar and keyboards are taking the lead. After All.. is a slow tempo track. The song also has a looming atmosphere. The song is mainly instrumental. The parts which are sung have a dark but very nice sound. Lime starts with a modest piano-guitar intermezzo. The end of this instrumental song is mid-tempo and again rather dark.
The song Laryngocele opens with a merry keyboard tune. The rest of the song is rather jazzy. Even trumpets take part in this lovely track. The guitar is strong and well played. The seventh track Beauty has some psychedelic influences. Some parts remind me of King Crimson but rather King Crimson in an electronic style. Ganglion is a heavy song. The guitars have a lot of fat distortion and the double bass pedal has a prominent role. A really great female voice completes this brilliant song. Keluj is in my opinion the weakest part of the strong chain. It is an electro song. This is something that doesn't touch me in a positive sense. The album ends with Nothing, a song in which most of the instruments take part, especially the violin parts which I like a lot. These fit perfectly in the atmosphere of this fine song. The song is modest and once more the female voice is great. She sings the song to an absolute height.
The first solo album of Krzysztof Lepiarczyk strikes like a bomb. It has a great variety of marvelous songs. This album has become part of my shortlist of the best progressive rock albums 2016. Great album!
****+ Aad Bannink (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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