Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Intersection: Jachna/Buhl

The Intersection is an ongoing feature on JazzWrap that looks at artists that have blended jazz, world and electronica in new and highly creative ways.

Niedokonczone Ksiazki (translated: Unfinished Books) (Audio Tong Music, 2011)
Wojtek Jachna (trumpet, electronics)
Jacek Buhl (drums)

A recent and unbelievably exciting discovery from fellow blogger Maciej at Polish Jazz is the second release from the duo Jachna & Buhl, Niedokonczone Ksiazki (translated: Unfinished Books).

Utilizing elements of jazz, electronica, early prog and found sound, Jachna and Buhl have created a wonderful and riveting document of rhythms, tones and ideas that will have you decidedly beside yourself as to what to call this - Jazz? Avant Garde? Third Stream Jazz? Electronica? World? Or what? There are places on Unfishised Books, where you may hear influences of Faust, My Bloody Valentine or Jon Hassell. I have been listening to this record non-stop for the last two weeks (twice a day in some cases).

In a similar vein to Mikrokolektyw from last year, this duo consist of drums and trumpet/electronics. But that's really where the similarities end. Jachna/Buhl employ their acoustic instruments with limited electronic manipulation. This gives the record a raw feel but also adds an experimental quality when the electronics are introduced. On "Modlitwa", the duo utilize all the space available and conjure a rich and expansive acoustic dialogue that is both exciting as it is exploratory. "Bernstein's Mood" rolls out with a funky repetitive pattern from Buhl and phrasing from Jachna that could fit neatly along side a piece of West Side Story (if West Side Story were an experimental musical). 

"Przyplyw Odplyw" has an ambient-dub quality to it that is reminiscent of mid-period Jon Hassell. It's a slow developing piece that is mainly dominated by Buhl's rhythmic passages. Jachna's performance is layered in beautifully. "Przyplyw Odplyw" moves upward and out but still maintains a melody, expression and direction that holds your interest throughout. Both musicians along with the electronic elements deployed in this piece are truly sublime. "Zmeczony Los" closes out the session with a slow moving rhythm, manipulated trumpet and other found sounds that feel more ethnological in structure than jazz based. The drums feel very tribal and Buhl's playing is eerie and emotional. It's ambient, dub, experimental and electronica rolled into six minutes of solitude. 

This is one of those records that is always up our alley at JazzWrap. Wojtek Jachna and Jacek Buhl have created an album that is strikingly different than most of the material you will hear this year. Fusing various elements of the musical spectrum, they have maintained the acoustic richness of their instruments with the far-reaching spirit of third stream jazz to create an album--Unfinished Books -- that is worth every dollar, euro or pound it takes you to find it. Highly Recommended.

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