Thursday, 10 March 2016

Rimbaud - Rimbaud

(June 5th, 2015, Gusstaff Records)

Slow, cold sound of keyboards is informing you that the album has begun. After half a minute of this same theme you might ask yourself "Is my album broken? Or is that it? That's all?!". And then, suddenly, your ears are blasted with cacophony of twisted saxophone, noises and distorted vocals. You're in another dimension. Dimension where anything can happen and you don't know how or why. Welcome aboard brave listener of Rimbaud. Let me take you on a trip. Abandon all hope.

   Rimbaud is a collaboration between three polish musicians. They're all well known in their genres in Poland, but probably unknown anywhere else. Tomasz Budzyński, leader of punk rock band Armia, Mikołaj Trzaska - avant-garde saxophonist known for input in many bands, and Michał Jacaszek, artist best known in electronic genres. So we have some kind of a polish supergroup here. Although in other cases collaborations are usually well publicized and known, Rimbaud went kind of under the radar even after releasing their album in 2015... And well, it still is very overlooked.    

   So, our three musketeers made a project. They borrowed a name from famous French poet, Arthur Rimbaud. When you hear the album, you'll know that France is pretty important in their case and that there are some kind of references. Why? Because half of the album is in French. Even more, songs in French are mostly the strongest pieces of this album. I can not judge Budzyński's French because I only understand "bonjour" and "j'aime", but recording an album, or just a half of it, in a different language other than your own or maybe English is a very unusual and intriguing move.

   Well, now it's time to answer the question - what is this Rimbaud? I haven't said a word about it yet. But don't worry, there's much to say about it... It's indeed wonderful music. The trio borrowed everything they play in their "mother bands" and very cleverly and subtlely melted it into a mass of avant-garde soundscapes. To make it simple, we can say that Rimbaud are playing dark noise jazz. Beautiful label... I'm sure some are scared already. There are moments of calm ambience, but that can transform into a storm of sounds at any time, just like in this iconic beginning of album's opener "Armata". And above everything, we can feel and hear a dark and heavy atmosphere filled with rain and thunder accompanied by surreal lyrics. Magic of these sounds is just magnetic... It's hard not to listen to Rimbaud on repeat. Especially because it has a magnificent ending. Last track, "Ja To Ktoś Inny", brings all motives from the album into one song. It's a really wonderful move.

   Three mature men, who achieved almost everything in music with their previous bands, projects or solo careers, gathered together and recorded one of the best albums of 2015 and probably one of the best albums to come from Poland ever. This album is a perfect example of experience, maturity and awareness of skills. You can feel it in compositions, in ideas behind the album and in the musicianship. So if you want to spend some quality time with these three gentlemen and are prepared for extremely unpredictable music, filled with unsettling mood, but also very exciting - you know what to do now. 

- Tomek


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