Kaczmarek | K.A.C.Z.M.A.R.E.K.
Released today in a limited vinyl release of only 100 copies is the latest from Paris-based Paul Ritch here as Kaczmarek. Nine tracks steeped in deep electronic mystery, successively numbered starting with 1111. With added chirps and bubbly effects the fused drone starts to evolve and enchant. As he moves into 2222 the tension rises with plotted static and warp. An undercurrent of melody percolates under the mask of a mix imploding with lush rhythm and a sci-fi themed core.
The hollow echo on 3333 casually shifts course with a lazy half beat, and an occasional cymbal that shakes up a languid pace. And so it goes, as each of these tracks has a modulated character unto themselves. There is something cold, steely about Ritch’s approach – the calculated themes are robotic, with little emotion. It’s apparent on 4444, with its soft pitter-patter over a suspenseful beat on a continuum. The track seems to grow in volume and intrigue though has the soul of a machine. In this way it gives a nod to classic electronic music that dates way back, it’s a quasi techno, but once removed.
Elsewhere he envelops you in shortened beats that hold their tongue and never break free. This is a perfect storm of tension and retention. His enigmatic 6666 with a low bass thump and roaming drone is by far the most perplexing on this record. Ultimately listenable, with effects aplenty, Kaczmarek has defined a signature style that abstracts both jungle beats with a dark ambient blank stare. As the above sound clip attests, 7777 is a modified radio broadcast consumed in the aftermath of a communication breakdown that suddenly pops into a beat-laden piece with African inflections and a throwback to the sass of artists like Tangerine Dream’s Peter Baumann (“The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight”). This track is most definitely ripe and ready for remixing.
In the homestretch is 8888 with is tropical rat-a-tat beats and lively format. But he ends on a slightly more reflective note of truncated quarter-beats and suspenseful whistling. As the piece takes shape you can hear associations to the μ-Ziq or Squarepusher of yore, with his own blend of melodic interludes that sweep through the machine beat. It all ends in an abstract passage that floats into a dark alley.
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