[Reviewed by Damiano Lanzi]
After releasing “Planet Death Architecture” in 2015, RARA, initially started by guitarist Rafał Skonieczny of Hotel Kosmos as a solo project, comes back as a three piece band for this second album, with Michał Pszczółkowski (electric guitar, synthetic sounds) and Mikołaj Zieliński (bass, acoustic guitar, percussion and monotron) completing the lineup. It would be unfair to tag RARA simply as “post-rock”, as their sound is a complex blend of inspirations, where acoustic guitar sounds easily coexist with drones, loops and ambient pads. They fit perfectly in that new electro-guitar scene (I don’t know if anyone has invented a more specific name yet…) that in Poland is now living its golden age with projects as Alameda 5 and Kapital. From my perspective of non-Polish listener, the albums recorded by these aforementioned bands always seem so fresh, being free from musical preconceptions and therefore able to explore new grounds, reinventing instruments and schemes that aren’t new at all. In this sense, RARA is no exception. I mean, I’m used to hear FX guitars, drones, loops and so on, but here in Italy and in most of Western Europe, these elements are most likely intended in an experimental and exclusive incarnation. For this reason, it’s so exciting for me to hear these experimental techniques in a musical output that’s also enjoyable to listen, but that at the same time is not “pop” at all.
Two of the tracks featuring vocals, “Szepty w Glowie Elly Brand” (sung by Ola Bilińska) and “Przynies to z Nocy” (sung by Kuba Ziołek) are simply beautiful: they are splendid folk gems further enriched by a first class production that tailors an unique dreamy atmosphere upon a songwriting that’s already of an excellent level. It’s notable how these tracks appear anyway perfectly coherent with the longer instrumental pieces in the album, demonstrating the versatility of this combo in many different situations. Another aspect that’s worth mentioning is the tribal rhythms that appear now and then: it’s another ingredient that could be out of place in this kind of music, but here it’s used with so much good taste! The better example is “Pasazerowie Wiatru”, where the percussions lead to a techno-arpeggiated section that’s nothing but amazing.
RARA – W//\TR
Zoharum, ZOHAR 125-2