Janusz Jurga | Hypnowald
Opus Elefantum Collective (CD/DL)
Though this came out a bit earlier this year, I only received a copy recently, and excited to impart some thoughts on this ghostly work of imagination. From Polish electronic innovator Janusz Jurga comes his latest, Hypnowald. Four tracks are interlinked by a night time chorus of howls and crackle as this set opens. This is only his sophomore effort, but the way in which ambient textures and other effects are layered bodes a bright future.
Jurga’s sound has some in common with the minimal dub of yore, deep beats from the Chain Reaction era, and perhaps a nod to Kompakt as well. By incorporating a bell to the constant meter of Hypnowald 2 he is gleaning those delicate nuances between a whispy soundscape and an enduring funky bottom end. And from there flourishing minimal techno begins to engage the senses. The build is fantastic, and continues into the next track where delicate strings and perhaps a field recording or sample of rain and forest are inlaid. Birds sing as a restrained beat carries on, and grows more robust. About three quarters through the brighter sounds dip down into a quieter space, and the shift is richly effective. Eventually the low end is manipulated and bent some, creating a bit of queasy distortion.
On the final track the mood again goes quite chilly, like the sizzle of rain on a forest floor, and then distant voices, muted, calling – but there is still a drown beat veneer. It’s a hypnotic way to conclude a recording that plays well on the senses.