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CzesŁaw Niemen - Katharsis CD (album) cover


CzesŁaw Niemen


Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 67 ratings

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4 stars Unappreciated cosmic voyage

This recording is perceived as 'black sheep' in Niemen's discography. People used to his big-beat singing, even to his avant-garde works on poetry and fusion music. But this LP was a real SHOCK! Almost no vocals and no other musicians. 'Just' variuos keyboards and experiments. No matter how big dissapointment for many it was, IT IS a real masterpiece of electronic-fusion music, reaching the range of Tangerine Dream or Fripp & Eno. The pioneer usage of 'home-made' loops, landscape-like tones from moog and mellotron... it can't be passed by indifferently!

The LP is a compilation of Niemen's work, from the period when he was writing music for theater.

The begging is a journey... no, not to to the center of the Earth. And not from Earth to Cosmos, but from Cosmos to Earth. A journey of being. Voyage full of colors (created by various loops) is also supported by very good Niemen's improvisations on moog (yet, he wasn't an excellent pianist). Journey ends (or begins) on "Planet Earth" with mysterious atmosphere reminding Tangerine Dream's "Zeit".

Next tracks continues mysterious journey (full of very interesting and original Niemen's ideas) and leads to dramatic "Z listu do M."... dramatic mostly for those who will understand the Polish poem. But besides poem, still the pure message in music is very clear.

Despite the majority of music is exciting, not whole LP is so good. Some of this theater-music stuff is only for avant-garde/electronic maniacs (they would here proto drum'n'bass in "Próba ucieczki"). And some is just weak - like most important "Epitafium", written after death of the close Niemen's friend (no matter how deep is the poem sung there, the music it's beneath abilities of this musician).

What is also important, it isn't a 'raw music' without sense. Everything is deep in philosophy or rather a way of looking on a modern life, connected with Niemen's favourite Cyprian Kamil Norwid (whos poetry he used on famous "Bema pamięci rapsod żałobny" or "Pielgrzym"). Niemen is trying to capture something ethereal, cosmic. And - for the contrast - depravity and lack of deep thought in our modern civilization. And it is NOT just an excuse for recording music - it really interwines with music making everything coherent.

I'm more than 100% sure that this LP is absolutely NOT a 'black sheep' or 'misunderstanding'. And it's not only for Niemen maniacs.

b-side | 4/5 |


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