Horologium – Atavistic Americana

[Reviewed by stark]

The music of this project, coming from Zielona Góra, Poland was always, kind of, “eurocentric”. If not in the idea or concept behind a specific album, then at least in the general feeling of the sounds. Therefore I raised my eyebrows seeing this title for the first time. `How to interpret it`, I asked myself. Is this the image of the present-day America with their president playing on the most primal strings of their society? Or should we consider it in a wider perspective, as the portraying of a modern nation, more technologically advanced than any other country in the world, but with this wild urge to be involved in each and every conflict in the world? The album is worth giving it a few deeper thoughts, especially from a strictly musical view point this is very cinematic, evocative work as well.

As most of Grzegorz’s works this one is quite diverse too. No Americana here though, to my great sadness (just kiddin’), but even without that he neatly mixes various influences and with good intuition. The bombastic, dynamic orchestrations are blended with gloomy dark ambient forms, but even for a moment I didn’t feel that both forms stand in conflict with each other. Everything is connected. It begins with their national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” going weirdly cacophonous, then the opening track morphs into a forceful neoclassical piece, interestingly ornamented with shreds of samples of music from different cultures with which Uncle Sam was or still is in the state of war (Muezzin chants, Japanese flutes and samples). “Pax Americana” (yeah, right) follows the atmosphere of the opener – with the sounds of electric guitar you can imagine the wonders of modern warfare… or grotesque rage on the face of their president, like on a caricature, with his hand over the red button. The music is taking more and more obscure shapes with each consecutive track reaching a tragic climax in “Somnium Somnio” based on female lamentations on their dying husbands and sons dying somewhere in the cloaca of the world. Though I have to say that this composition reminds me, like a lot, of Mark Morgan’s “Metallic Monks” theme from “Fallout” OST. A coincidence I think. And in the end everything will end in ashes (“Luna”).

“Atavistic Americana” is a more than decent piece of postindustrial/neoclassical music, but also another voice in the discussion on the current condition of our world. The voice that won’t be heard by many, after all it’s still coming from the depths of the underground, but if you’re here, it’s not by accident I assume. Therefore I strongly advise – get acquainted with this album.

HorologiumAtavistic Americana
Sky Burial, SKY029
LP/Digital 2018

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