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CzesŁaw Niemen - Aerolit CD (album) cover

AEROLIT

CzesŁaw Niemen

 

Eclectic Prog

4.18 | 101 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Passionist
5 stars Some time, after really getting into the prog scene, Czeslaw Niemen released an album called Aerolit. The album is commonly thought of as one of his best works. It's more jazz/fusion-rock than what the earlier albums were. Aerolit has less soul and blues influences, and is more based on his synths rather than funky organs and horns. The playing on this album is great and very professional.

The progressive sound to the first song really surprised me first. The song listing indicated a 10 minute song, and having first heard Strange is This World(1972), I expected something similar. However, the song starts with a powerful moog intro and soon gets going like the best of Tony Banks's licks back in the 70s, while the band on the back plays it fusion. There's a lot of early days Andy Ward style in Piotr Dziemskis drumming and the bass playing of Jacek Gazda matches the style more than well. This song soon developes into a playful jam masterpiece of a so Niemen-like groovy background topped by a battle of synths and guitar. Really nothing you would expect, having heard early Niemen, but still really good.

Niemens' biggest weapon has always been his great voice, and that's how this album stands out again. I'm a big fan of the Polish language, and hearing someone scream it at the top of their voice for almost 30 seconds is just something undescribable. However, Pielgrzym is not as easy as it could be. It's a song, or more like a chant with synths and singing taking turns. No drums or guitar are used in this song until five minutes. After that, we are introduced a really mystical background to the chants that carry on.

Kamyk carries on the misty feeling. It's really mysterious, the bassline, that's actually the supporting beam of this structure and reminds me a bit of early Wigwam(Finland) style. This song gets started a bit later too, and molds into something of a jazz-rock again, with a hint of canterbury scene too. I'm noticing influences to all my favourite genres and splendid musicianship. The members all play flawlessly and difficult patterns. The song starts to build a psychedelic load that keeps you hooked until the end. A great well spent 7 minutes if I may say so. Excellent and hypnotical. And the end sounds a bit similar to the first song, as if returning back to a theme...

Fourth is what defines progressive rock. Mellotron accompanied by an acoustic steel guitar equals a beautiful and enchanting sound. This song is really beautiful, and though Niemens' voice is a bit harsh, he can use it well with ballad-types too. Oh, I have a feeling this album is going to take a special place next to my heart.

And now I fell off my chair. After such a nice and soft song, we get a fast paced and jumping song, Smutny Ktos, biedny Nikt. This one is obviously done with a lot of good humour. The song is groovy and playful, yet really powerful and attractive. The beat really makes you want to jump.

I'm amazed how this artist could develope such a perfect touch to progressive rock and jazz-rock after doing such great things with first soul and then folk-blues influences. Czeslaw Niemen is certainly one of the best musicians and singers I have ever known, and the band... Poland has great potential and great players who do their job more than well. This album just walked right over me, and I can't do anything else but show my respect. And listen to it again, a bit louder! everyone here who loves progressive music should listen to this album, I can say that wholeheartedly. Even if you didn't understand the Polish language. It's a shame this album isn't as big as some of the other classics, because it surely would deserve to be.

Passionist | 5/5 |

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