Bruno Światłocień – Czerń I Cień


[Reviewed by: Damiano Lanzi]

The music by Polish project Bruno Światłocień is as unsettling as an abandoned factory at night: empty, wickedly silent, but also dark and dangerous. You walk inside it and the sound of your anxious footsteps brings back echoes of rusty machineries and broken glass. In this context Bronisław Ehrlich’s voice, always processed with heavy distortions, wide reverbs and haunting delays, may represent a psycho that’s chasing you and scares you by talking into the factory’s loudspeaker, just to let you know he’s there, hiding somewhere, and he’s going to get you very soon.

The average length of the tracks is high (most are over six minutes), the pieces are built as apocalyptic mantras that induce a hallucinatory trance on the listener. “Czerń I Cień” is an extenuating listening experience delineating a dark atmosphere, with a persistent sense of distance and abandonment, in an almost cinematic manner. There is a high level of attention in the sound engineering of all the instruments, the effected guitars, the snarly distorted bass, mechanical drum lines and punctual electronic interventions. The sonic terrain on which this album moves may give a sense of cold and dehumanization, instead the sounds are rich and massive.

The album begins with the robotic guitar riff and the powerful rhythm of “Judasze”, while “Babilońskie Damy” has a dub drum loop and some sounds of hip-hop derivation. The coda is one of the rare relaxed moments inside this album, even if it stumbles in a suspended closure. “Zwierzęcy Los” has a good fuzz bass riff and the instrumental “Low” closely recalls the ethereal post-rock of Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, with its crystalline arpeggios and impassive pacing of the bass. Despite its retaining the same harmonic progression throughout, this piece is diversified by continuously evolving synths and effected guitars. “Przemijanie” juxtaposes a church organ to scratches that recall the trip-hop of Portishead. “Apokalipsa” has a post-punk influenced guitar riff, a powerful drum sound that sometimes indulges in moments of industrial obstinacy, and cold synths. After “Pewnego Dnia” and its guitars à la Joy Division we find the other instrumental of the album, “Mogwai”, where the relentless kick and snare alternation contrasts with soaring guitars. The album ends with “Ja”, the longest and most claustrophobic piece: the listener is kept in a continued state of tension by its spiraling chords.

Bruno ŚwiatłocieńCzerń I Cień
Zoharum, ZOHAR 042-2
CD/Digital 2013

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