The 2008 release of Treny from Polish musician Michał Jacaszek was, by most accounts (including my own), a startling and memorable achievement in the realm of dark ambient music, gracefully navigating the middle ground between contemporary classical and something much more haunting. The 2009 release of Pentral was, with all due respect to the artist in question, a spectacular decrease in quality and innovativeness. Supposedly Jacaszek was the author of that album, but I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t just something he was screwing around with when he was in his teenage years, which he subsequently decided to release. In any case, the initial qualitative inconsistency of Jacaszek’s formal releases has made me cock an eyebrow at the news of his signage to Ghostly International, as well as the release of a new album Glimmer on December 6. I temper what would otherwise be girlish excitement (if, say, Pentral had never seen the light of day) and replace it with hopeful skepticism.
From a press release, Jacaszek has this to say regarding his new album: “I tried again to create some fragile beauty glimmering behind the veil of reality. I built a kind of curtain out of dirts and fuzzes, and used pure sound of clarinet and harpsichord playing beautiful melodies as a contrast to its harshness.” Certainly, one of the most blatant and appealing characteristics of Treny was how outwardly emotional it was and how inspired it felt. Therefore, it can only be a positive that Jacaszek appears to have taken a similar approach with Glimmer. The jury’s out on what his production techniques will ultimately lead to, but he’s definitely got the attention of many. I’ll try not to glare too critically while I’m listening.
03. Pod Światło
04. Evening Strains to Be Time’s Vast
05. Seiden Stille
06. What Wind-Walks Up Above!
07. Only Not Within Seeing of the Sun
08. As Each Tucked String Tells