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Peter Matuchniak - Uncover Me CD (album) cover


Peter Matuchniak


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3.59 | 10 ratings

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4 stars If it weren't for the good fortune of discovering Peter Matuchniak thanks to his appearance on a Marco Ragni album, I might never have heard this modest little gem. In the world of progressive rock, there are the giants and there are the struggling underdogs, and then there is an album like "Uncover Me". Peter has actually had a long musical career as a member of different bands, but here he presents a collection of private songs in his own vision. While I'll admit I find his band Gekko Projekt to be more of an obvious choice, listening to this album again after a long while captured my attention more than previously. I guess sometimes you just need to be in the right musical headspace to appreciate an album. It's not like I wasn't interested before. But this time I was just that much more attentive. The trick I think is to put the album on a playlist and then listen carefully to each track with the idea that you're going to find the two best tracks and shave off the rest. That's when it suddenly dawned on me that I like nearly every track!

Peter's style here is an eclectic collection of smooth jazz-tinged songs, classic rock, seventies prog, and acoustic folk. The vocals are provided by Natalie Azerad and Ted Zhan and Peter himself, and capture the different moods of the music well. Ted's vocals are stronger, classic rock while Natalie's have a good tone for the jazzier tracks but also add a hint of Renaissance in the title track. In "Running Blind" she brings out the eighties hard pop sound of the song (I'm reminded of Fiona). "Lionheart Betrayed" is a beautiful acoustic piece about Peter's decision to leave London and head across the pond to America, and "Across the Pond" has is a late-seventies saxophone-led jazz piece. "London Vibe" is a Peter Matuchniak solo version of a track from Gekko Projekt's debut album.

The pair of tracks, "Falling Ash (Burning Landscape)" parts one and two cover Peter's strengths in classic seventies prog and rock, with a short Great-Gig-In-the-Sky-esque vocal bit by Natalie in part one and some flute and acoustic guitar in part two. There's a great keyboard solo near the end as well!

This is very much a personal album and I'll say that is has a lot of strong material on it. It might not be an album for everyone and doesn't pop out as an obvious choice. But I give Peter solid points for putting together a well-composed collection of songs and instrumentals that are like a very satisfying lunch you didn't expect at a restaurant that wasn't familiar to you before. A great album to listen to when you're not sure what you're in the mood for but want to hear something to surprise and delight you. A very nice addition to a prog rock collection!

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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