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PAMIęć

SBB

Eclectic Prog


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nickelvine@ho
4 stars Found a battered LP copy of "Pamiec" by Gruba SBB at a garage sale, and bought it because it was Polish and looked wierd. Imagine my suprise when it turned out to be very good prog rock with ambient touches. The singing is a little cheesy but the textures are great. Cool synths make the album, but there are also some suprisingly funky grooves from the rhythm section.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#17964)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
slipperman
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars SBB are architects of an irresistable cosmic prog sound, as long as you pick up the key albums from the '70s. 'Pamiec' is one of their best.

Even though SBB's music isn't extremely complicated or difficult doesn't make them any less captivating to even the most demanding ears. The dramatic qualities and the patience they exercise in building their songs are wonderful elements of their style. 'Pamiec' consists of three lengthy songs, each a fine representation of the band's style: jazzy, cosmic, synth-dominant, dramatic, it's all here, with occasional flurries of kinetic storms from drummer Jerzy Piotrowski and generally unpredictable dynamics. Mainman and bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Jozef Skrzek is cleary the guiding light, though he gives the other members plenty of room to move around. His vocals are full of conviction, sometimes fragile, sometimes triumphant, usually carrying a kind of lamenting/melancholy tone.

Some moments are crushingly beautiful ("From Whose Blood My Blood") and some are frightening in their dynamic range (the side-long "Memory Grows Into Stone"). The sounds are all an analog-loving synth-enthusiast could ask for, but it's so much more than just a showcase for Skrzek, as his compositions shine brightly throughout this eventful album, and the band chemistry reaches peak points all over the place. The instrumental balance is another highlight, guitar given plenty of presence amidst the other sounds, nothing ever battling for the spotlight, all of it working toward the strength of the song. Perhaps I should give this a 5, but I'll hold back since I'm not familiar enough with SBB's daunting catalog...maybe there's another masterpiece out there more worthy of that rating. So, 4.5++. But who cares about numbers: this is an album any enthusiast of prog's grand '70s era must own.

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Send comments to slipperman (BETA) | Report this review (#67661)
Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Pamiec is the band's second studio album and the third album in their discography. The music here is a lot more homogeneous than on the previous records. It is also mainly instrumental. "W Kolysce Dloni Twych (In The Cradle Of Your Hands)", "Z Ktorych Krwi Krew Moja (From Whose Blood My Blood Is)" and "Pamiec W Kamien Wrasta (Memory Grows Into The Stone)" are long suites, full of lyricism - parables full of metaphors. Texts written by Julian Matej create an atmosphere of mystery, which is intensified by amazing music. You may have an impression that it is inspired by electronic music, Dark Side Of The Moon, or Gong, but the longer you listen to the recordings, the more they seem to be beyond compare. You can hear beautiful melodies, wonderful sound, cooperation of all the musicians, Jozef Skrzek's brilliant voice, solemn organ scores, improvised Apostolis solos, and the great Jerzy Piotrowski's skills as a drummer. All in one. Undoubtedly it is one of the most beautiful progressive albums of the seventies. A masterpiece of progressive music. If they live in England they would be as famous as Pink Floyd.

SBB = Search, Break and Build.

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Send comments to MSKrzys (BETA) | Report this review (#71239)
Posted Monday, March 06, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Here is my review of Pamiec...''In The Cradle of Your Hands(9'09)starts out mellow for the first 3'20,with keyboard,cymbal tapping,and vocal work.Then,the music comes into play,with the tempo picking up at about 5'30 into the song,and continuing on.Things really speed up between 6'58 and 8'15 into the song,and finally slow down until the song ends.Next up is ''From Whose Blood,My Blood(10'13),which sounds kind of on the ballad-like side,especially with the singing,though there are some jazz-rock moments,with great guitar work.The almost 20 minute song''Memory Grows Into Stone'',starts out with the sound of air blowing for the first minute.Then,for the next 5 minutes,you can hear keyboard,vocal,and cymbal work.The music finally kicks in at 6 minutes into the song,and moves along at a steady pace,picking up again at 8'10,slowing down at 9'20,with keyboard and haunting-like music until 10'20,with some fast keyboard playing.Things really get going into a jam between 10'35 and 18'00,with thumping bass work,guitar work,etc..The song ends in a mellow way.On the CD,there are 7 bonus tracks,which sound good.I recommend this to anyone who likes MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA/JEAN-LUC PONTY type jazz rock,with John McLaughlin-like guitar playing,but without the violins.This was,for me,money well spent!

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Send comments to jasonpw. (BETA) | Report this review (#112056)
Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To my personal taste, this third album by SBB is stronger than the second album. Even though it's not in close similarity, this album reminds me to Chick Corea's Return To Forever. The use of mother tongue language as vocal (by Jozef) has made this song rich in textures and style. The opening track "W kolysce dloni twych (Ojcu)/ In The Cradle Of Your Hands (To My Father)" (9:07) is dark at opening / intro part featuring mellow vocal. AT approx minute 5 the music moves in dynamic way with drums as beat keeper and guitar solo as lead. The tempo moves faster during interlude part as shown by faster drumbeats. The keyboard solo is really stunning and energetic.

The second track "Z których krwi krew moja / From Whose Blood, My Blood" (10:11) continues the style of previous one with now more bluesy and jazzy opening. The guitar fills at the opening are played softly. The song features vocal, as the opening track does as well. The interlude part with moog solo and guitar solo is very nice. In the middle of the track the music moves into faster and more dynamic style of music.

The album's epic "Pamięć w kamień wrasta / Memory Grows Into Stone" (19:48) takes too long opening part to have the music taking off. It only happens at the later part of the music.

In terms of similarity, this album is in a way similar in style with Billy Cobham "Spectrum" album where it features Tommy Bolin as guest guitarist for one song. Overall, this third album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Trouble is .. the recording quality is not that good: too much bass and the mid range is not clear enough. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#120993)
Posted Monday, May 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's one of the best works SBB had to offer in their career. A few projects can draw you in like this one. Metaphoric lyrics (for those who understand polish) amplify the electrifying atmosphere Skrzek creates along with Jerzy Piotrowski on drums and Antymos Apostolis. Just as their other projects in 70's, this one is built upon very powerful melodies, simple but very philosophical lyrics, temperamental drumming and very good sounds of keyboards that never seem to get tiresome even though keyboards are all over the place. The sound colors are beautifuly blended with the atmosphere Skrzek is trying to evoke. The songs are very cleverly built with the necessary time dedicated for the listener to get "into it", and more you listen to them, the better they get. Clearly, "Z Ktorych Krwi Krew Moja" dominates the album, with fantastic structure to the entire song. The singing, where present, becomes another dominant instrument - it's a part of a structure and Skrzek is at his best on this album. Piotrowski's drumming is charged with energy and precision - he had a reputation of one of the best drummers in the world at that time. Some musicians said that thay could adjust the chronometer by his exact beats and he is certainly proving that on this project. I think a more space should have been given to guitar as Antymos Apostolis (of Greek origin) displays great intrumental skills where given a chance. One of my most favorite pieces in my collection and I highly recommend. Who should I compare their music with? I think theirs is so original and as it never tries to immitate anyone that to put them in a certain category would have not done justice. But if you like long compositions, thoughtful concepts, improvisations, strong melodies, powerful rythms, electrifying atmosphere and experimenting with sound colors, then your money will be well spent. I give five stars to this album, no question about it.

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Send comments to andympick (BETA) | Report this review (#130876)
Posted Tuesday, July 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Having reached a point, where their sound had become recognizable and their fame was contstantly on the rise, SBB would move on to one of their most ambitious recordings.As with their debut, the entitled ''Pamiec'' work was recorded at the studios of Polskie Nagrania, apparently during the autumn of 1975, and released ther same year by the eponymous label.

''Pamiec'' contains only three tracks of stretched, Heavy/Psych/Fusion, where the synth experiments of Jozef Skrzek still meet with the vintage sound of the Hammond organ for a highly original and inventive style, played with drumming accuracy and a balanced execution with guitars, bass and keyboards performing in equal doses.The two compositions of the opening side, clocking at around 10 min. each, are both nice examples of SBB's genuine mood with synthesizers and Hammond organ as the leading instruments over the solid rhythm section and the careful guitar work of Anthimos.The music ranges from almost spacey underlines with poetic singing and slow paces to bombastic rhythms, featuring jazzy guitar moves and nervous but mellow synth backgrounds.The influences appear to come from Jazz, Blues and Heavy/Psych Rock, but the overall result is grounbreaking to say the least with a style of its own.The 20-min. long ''Pamiec w kamien wrasta'' on the flipdside is not dissimilar to the previous material.It just gets too long,because the first few minutes are delivered under a hypnotic mood with smooth organ/synth lines and wordless voices to lead into another grandiose offering by the trio, based on dreamy keyboards, including some electric piano, smooth guitar work and crying vocals.After the middle there are plenty of complex instrumental parts with series of changing keyboards and haunting grooves and the atmosphere becomes rather psychedelic with alternating Heavy and Space Rock themes, showered by jazzy, loose solos.

SBB appear to become more mature with each released album.''Pamiec'' finds them in one of their best forms, delivering a nice style with jazzy, psychedelic and Heavy Rock sources of inspiration.Great work, strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#162028)
Posted Sunday, February 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Very interesting release from S.B.B. recorded in 1975. This Polish band offers up a stew of atmospheric Jazz and dashes of Symphonic music with drums and an array of keyboards (grand piano, Fender piano, Hammond organ and minimoog) leading the way. There are some vocals in Polish but not a lot.

"W Kolysce Dioni Twych (Ojcu)" opens with sparse cymbals, keys and guitar sounds before organ comes floating into this atmospheric intro. Vocals 2 minutes in and they are the focus as not much else is going on. The song finally and thankfully kicks into gear before 3 1/2 minutes as drums and organ lead the way, although vocals continue. Nice beat 5 1/2 minutes in. The tempo picks up 7 minutes in. It settles with vocal melodies before 8 1/2 minutes. "Z Ktorych Krwi Krew Moja" opens much like the first track with lots of atmosphere as keys, cymbals and guitar calmly play. Vocals after a minute. A fuller and better sound 1 1/2 minutes in. It settles back down quickly though. This contrast continues. Some vocal melodies before 5 minutes as we get some impressive drumming. Great sound 5 1/2 minutes in. The guitar is lighting it up 6 minutes in. Some atmosphere a minute later as it calms right down. Vocals after 7 1/2 minutes as themes are repeated.

"Pamiec W Kamieri Wrasta" opens with spacey winds. Lots of atmosphere follows as floating organ comes in then vocal melodies. A change after 5 minutes as the organ stops and keys take over. We start to get more of a melody 6 minutes in as it gets heavier and darker. It doesn't last long though as it calms right down. Vocals come in and i have to say that this section sounds so much like RADIOHEAD, you'd be surprised. Check it out after 8 minutes. Guitar 9 minutes in and a fuller sound. More atmosphere takes over. A GENESIS flavour 10 1/2 minutes in. Back to the atmosphere as drums and bass lead the way. Guitar 15 minutes in goes on and on as the tempo picks up. Nice. It settles right down 19 minutes in to end it. Amazing side long track !

This record seems to get better as it plays out. I admit I still find parts of this album difficult to really enjoy, mostly some of the early vocal sections. Still worth 4 stars though as the title track is pure genius.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#191456)
Posted Monday, December 01, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars To "Pamiec" my personal biased rate : 5 stars, to PA I´ll keep 4 stars "excellent addition.". I choose to review "Pamiec" [translation would be "memory" (?)] or "3" only because it seems to be a more balanced album. so beautiful, spacey and lyrical. See the title tracks translations : 1- " in the Craddle of your hands ( to my father)" 2- "From whose Blood, My Blood" 3- "Memory Grows into Stone". Lyrics by Julian Matej.

Like VDGG, SBB rarely uses bass guitar and compositions comes from one man: the legendary Józef Skrzek (mainly keyboards and fantastic vocals; he also plays bass, guitar and a bit of drums - listen "Ojciec chrzestny..." 1980 solo; he plays all like Mike Oldfield). The comparison with VDGG could include the well succeeded self expression and a "cult" appeal that has no preoccupations with virtuoso playing. Comparisons stop here as the VDGG and SBB styles are completely different. SBB don't uses saxophone but crafted guitar by Apostolis. The high SBB point to me, is its sincere self expression art; don't expect perfect sound productions but highly original, floating (the synth use sometimes is on surreal electronic music side) and sentimental prog.

These next albums ratings are personal as I love SBB, so are biased, if you want virtuoso music go to another band; if you want pure true heart art, my rating can help. Back in 1988, in the SUBSOM store I was quite curious with that SBB vinyls with side long tracks and their awesome covers. I began buying that Muza blue label "Pamiec" (1975, ****1/2); then "Ze Slowem." (4th album 197?,**** - it deserved better sound production) and Skrzek solo "Ojciec chrzestny." (1980 ****- this is entirely prog with Skrzek playing all - it's almost like another pos " Memento z."SBB record, recommended). Always getting happy, I bought also "Welcome" (1979, **** - its side 1 is a masterpiece and to me a classic, unfortunately side 2 is.weak) from wifon label vinyl. But was disappointed with Skrzek solo "Pamietnik Karoliny" (1978, **1/2).

Later my great Polish friend from PROGNET (2002 closed pionner reviews site), sent me many others SBB including "Memento Z." (1980*****, prog as its best, their best sound production); "Follow my Dream" (1977***- recorded in Hannover, unfortunately their try to reach international market failed, but remember Hungarian OMEGA succeeded at german bacillus label) ); "Slovenian Girls" (197?,****) and other live acts like "Karlstad" (1975 ***1/2 all material here is new).

My good memories now : By the year 1988 there was a record shop here in Rio de Janeiro SUBSOM discos, where we could always see many SBB, Jósef Skrzek, M EFEKT and SYNKOPY vinyl's been sold (and they were not very expansive). From SBB I only knew "Pamiec"; "Slovenian Girls" side 2; "Welcome" side 1 and "Memento Z." I had taped from LUCKY prog radio program called ROCK LASER which played very well selected worldwide prog mainly from unknown bands. All Sundays I was there taping from 22:00 to 0:00, from 1985 to around 1987 (believe me, it was a high level 2 hours prog radio program in the mid 80's !!) I could discover many gems thanks to ROCK LASER and their fantastic producers. My Thanks to you guys.

When I saw the DVD of Pink Floyd "making of Dark Side of the Moon", David Gilmour (at track about "money" cut) says the sensation of emptiness after getting the goal of making money; Roger Waters, quite sincere, also declares they were working to make money. Sad. I guess the good news from Iron Curtain prog is that musicians don't have to care so much with sales, but just concentrate to produce finest independent ART. As "Welcome" awesome cover picture says it all about SBB : Absolute free wings to the ears and mind. I can't type for backbone problems must stop here.

God in heart to all beings !

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Send comments to Prog_Veteran (BETA) | Report this review (#214632)
Posted Sunday, May 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars S.B.B. - Pamięć (1975)

I was shocked. Last saterday I went downtown to buy just one record, considering my low- budget student. I tried a lot of vinyls, until I almost desperately went to this last corner of the big second hand vinyl store in Nijmegen. Here I found this record of SBB, of which I knew it was a high-rated eclectic prog band on PA.

When I started listening to this record at home I was blown away! The style of SBB is so refreshing! I'll try to explain. This power-trio of keys (and bass), electric guitar and drums (often jazz-rock like) has this special vibe. Perhaps a bit spacey, but more melodic. It's harmonically challenging like King Crimson, yet sort of peaceful. The music progresses so naturally that the listening experience is kind of relaxing - Yet the compositions are almost unearthly adventurous and the musicianship is sublime. It's nice to hear how much confidence S.B.B. has, the band takes it's time and never looses it's grip on a composition. Sometimes it get's symphonic, even bombastic, but yet I can't find one moment of pretentious leanings. The whole album just sounds like pure magic to me.

W kołysce dłoni twych (In The Cradle Of Your Hands (To My Father) has a long spacey atmospheric intro. Not spacey like Hawkwind, but more like the sound-track of 2001 A Space Odyssey. The melodic parts of this epic are very strong and the vocals are intense. The long solo section with multiple themes and inventive ideas is very strong. The song- parts of this track are original. A great nine minute mini-epic.

Z których krwi krew moja (From Whose Blood, My Blood) has a form similar to the first track of the album, but it is more dense. There are even more ideas. The song-part of the track is memorable. Great song-writing with intelligent chord-progressions and nice long notes of guitar and bass. The solo's and instrumental themes are all very exciting and typical of the eclectic genre. Yet another masterfull track

Pamięć w kamień wrasta (Memory Grows Into Stone). On this 20 minute epic SBB takes the concept of the first two songs and stretches it to the limit. With yet some more jazz/classical song-writing, more eclectic prog instrumental parts and an even more impressive atmospheric opening section. The compositional skill of SBB has now become a fact after forty minutes of pure inventive, atmospheric progressive rock. The ending section of this must-have-heard epic is amongst the most beautiful I've ever heard. It almost made me cry when I first heard it.

Conclusion. This album deserves a place in the holy section of my record collection, among Van der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Gentle Giant and Magma. This album struck me as being pure magic, a perfect combination of quality song-writing, innovation and atmosphere. And the good thing is - it's also relaxing! Something I could not say about lot of high-quality prog. The production is also very good (when listening to the lp). Five stars for sure, and I would like to add this is PA top 20 material. Recommended to fans of all sub-genres of prog.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#306561)
Posted Monday, October 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Pamięć by SBB is an album that truly puts me at a loss of words.

"W kołysce dłoni twych" starts very slow, building up a spacey atmosphere that grows gradually until very sweet and passionate vocals enter the soundscape. The 2nd half of this track is mostly energetic jazz influenced progressive rock, but manages to stay beautiful throughout. Extremely beautiful.

"Z których krwi krew moja" starts out building atmosphere not unlike the first track, but after a passage of passionate vocals and serenely symphonic touches, the song picks up the pace with a heavy jazz passage that gives the track a gloomy outlook that eventually turns into a dark Red-era King Crimson sounding riff. The flow from passage to passage is flawless.

The first half of "Pamięć w kamień wrasta" is basically gradually building psychedelic atmosphere that manages to be very beautiful and not boring at all, but eventually gives way to another Red-era King Crimson styled riff. This track sounds much darker than the previous two, but is still beautiful - only in a different way. The second half of the track features a well done jazz-fusion type of passage that took me by surprise on first listen, but it works very nicely.

I'm captivated by this album and I find it to be very beautiful. Highly recommended atmospheric prog.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#431157)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars at most!!

After their excellent NH, SBB came back the same year with their third Pamieç album (won't venture in guessing this title's meaning this time ;o))), but most fans will be in for a deception if, like me, are a bit distraught at the lost of the Mahavishnu JR/F slant in favour of a more symphonic approach. Another big difference would be the presence of much more vocals (Polish lyrics courtesy of an outsider Matej), even they're not overly-present over the (only) three tracks.Coming with a fairly similar artwork as its NH predecessor, Pamieç is much-more filled with Jozef's Minimoog (all-too) numerous interventions (although I haven't heard much of the announced Rhodes), and seem to lack some cohesiness.

The two 9-mins+ tracks on side A are a bit arduous a listen IMHO, not sounding or flowing as naturally as they should have. It might be a little more difficult to pinpoint SBB's influence on the present than on NH, but clearly we're into almost pure symphonic prog, but not refined enough to compete with Yes or other groups of the genre, both musically (virtuosity) or compositionally. The sidelong title track epic on the flipside is a little more coherent (and cohesive), maybe because of its spacier realm, leading to the first (and last) verse and present some delicate ambiances, but it lingers on a bit too long, taking useless (IMHO) meanders, which tend to dilute somewhat the musical propos. A little conciseness wouldn't have hurt on all three tracks.

Like NH, the present CD reissue is also filled with a slew of bonus tracks, but this time, they fail to match the quality of an already-weaker (IMHO) original album. Indeed the Indian- derived Poranek and African-sounding Drzewa (both from a radio-broadcast) are not only average, but do not fit the album's scheme, while the archive-drawn Osiem Rak and Mahavishnu-esque track Waldie (from an early radio-broadcast) would've both been better suited for the NH CD reissue's realm. The three later (76 & 78) radio-broadcast-recorded tracks are also not really in line with the original album, but then again given the mess of the bonus track selection, it doesn't matter anymore by this time, despite the first being flattering to the ears, but the opposite is true for the last two. Soooooo in short, an IMHO weaker third album (although this is debatable), but clearly further hampered by dodgy additional material. Never mind my opinion if you're more into symphonic-weenie stuff than fusion-stuffed bradwursts, though.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#478580)
Posted Friday, July 08, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Pamiec is the result of SBB finally getting access to the quality studio recording environments their material deserved, and on top of that showcases an amazing growth in the band's capabilities. The album showcases a sound which seamlessly fuses symphonic prog with a cosmic variety of space rock. Imagine a combination of Saucerful of Secrets-era Pink Floyd's command of blissful atmospheres with Peter Gabriel-led Genesis' sense of drama and technical mastery, topped off with the mystical, majestic air of the finest Yes tracks, and now imagine those qualities being expressed in a wholly original sound that can only be SBB's own: there, you have the glory of Pamiec.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#547866)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is my first review of an east-europe band: Pamiec of SBB out of Poland. SBB was one of the most famous bands within Poland and thanx to progarchives and internet in general this name slowly becomes more heard out of Poland. SBB shows some nice sound between fusion (sometimes a bit like Magma, otherwise more like Mahavishnu Orchestra) and symphonic prog. This was just the link between those genres, which is not often played by other bands.

The moods are relaxt, dark, optimistic and sometimes energetic. The compositions are smart and the musicianship is great of this trio of musicians: a drummer, key-, bassplayer and also the vocalist and guitarist. In comparison with earlier efforts of SBB this record is less avant- garde and more fusion-symphoprog alike.

Three compositions and all three are worth listening. Not brilliant perhaps, but played with great discipline and devotion. A worthy listening experience: almost five stars!

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Send comments to the philosopher (BETA) | Report this review (#646618)
Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Had I heard this or any SBB album in the 70s I might not have favored FOCUS/JAN AKKERMAN and RETURN TO FOREVER/AL DI MEOLA/CHICK COREA/STANLEY CLARKE/LENNY WHITE so much. This is perhaps the best match of emotion and virtuosic jazz fusion I've ever heard--and I do like this album more than the other three highly acclaimed SBB studio albums ("Momento z banalnym triptykiem" and "Slovenian GIrls"). Not so complex or complicated as to lose listeners but by no means simple or uniform, these songs are well composed and extremely well preformed.

1. The opener, "W Kolysce Dioni Twych (Ojcu)" sucked me in from the opening notes like a PFM classic. Just beautiful music! And then it matriculates into an absolutely AWESOME groove at the 5:20 mark (I love the subtle but masterful interplay of the instrumentalists during the minute before the guitar and vocal solos begin.) The switch at the seven minute mark saddened me, but then I was able to relax into it and enjoy. The drums are so tight! Keyboard work is fun! SEgues back ointo beautiful intro section with guitar and voice(!) leading the high register melodic notes. (10/10)

2. "Z Ktorych Krwi Frew Moja" (10:14) had almost the same effect on me as the opener: sucking me right into its emotional, melodic weave. The vocal, electric guitar and background vocals at the one minute mark make for a beautiful hook. This B section returns until at 2:37 we have a subtle bass keyboard solo. The hypnotic mid-section supports an adequate guitar solo before everything slows down to a spacey FOCUS-like section at 6:55. RPI-like vocals at 7:35. Still AKKERMAN/VAN LEER-like guitar & organ background throughout. This one didn't reach the heights nor sustain it as the first but still an excellent, emotional song. (9/10)

3. The album's epic, "Pamiec w Kamein Wasta" (19:48) opens with synth waves and some very slow, subtly developing space music. It sounds like an prelude/interlude piece from the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey--the part where the evolutionary chimps are figuring out the use of weapons (leading up to Ricard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra"). Eventually the song evolves into a Court of the Crimson King-like song (especially the MIchael Giles-like drumming). At 10:15 an ELP Tarkus-like section starts up before evolving into what sounds (incredibly) like a cross between EUMIR DEODATO's "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and a JEAN-LUC PONTY classic. Great fun following the drums, bass, keyboards, and volume pedal controlled guitar both separately and stepping back to hear the effect of the woven mix. AT 14:55 there is an shift into a more funky rhythm section to support a three-minute electric guitar solo. Not quite AL DI MEOLA but a very nice solo anyway. The next shift is into another chorale-led section (nicely displaying the drummer's prowess) that brings me back to a familiar PHAROAH SANDERS/GINO VANELLI feeling. Fade out is as it started: spacey keys and synth waves. Great song despite the divertissement section to support the lengthy guitar solo. (9/10)

My CD version has two bonus songs, "Niedokonczona Progresja" (6:24) (9/10) and "Reko-reko" (4:31) (7/10), the first a slow piano-based song that builds slowly into a kind of TONY BANKS/ANTHONY PHILLIPSian piece (with some awesome frenetic synth soloing), while the second song starts out with the melodrama of a great GINO VANELLI song. Later the presence of a mouth organ makes it take on a little bluesy feel. I can see why theses songs did not make the cut for this album as they don't have the development of the other songs--they are in fact kind of one-dimensional, though still very melodic.

Based on the material presented on the original album this is in my opinion a very important 4.5 star contribution to the prog catalog. Essential, as it is, IMHO, the first SBB album that I would recommend to the curious listener.

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Send comments to BrufordFreak (BETA) | Report this review (#843831)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Firstly, I declare a heavy bias towards this band that I have known for nearly four decades. Fortunate enough to see them perform live many times - always a very satisfying experience! - and even met the artists in person. I have almost their entire discography in my collection.

Whilst not everything they produce is to my ultimate liking. I admire the artists for their refusal to compromise and for remaining true to what they believe in. Yes, you may have guessed, we are onto 5 big ones here...!

This album is perhaps not the easiest to get into, it's one that tends to mature over time. Admittedly, there are times when I find Skrzek's vocals a bit over-indulgent even to the point that given the ability, I'd edit some of it out. That's not the case here and on this release his emotionally charged, heartfelt singing is a pure delight, hence the reason for choosing to comment on "Pamiec" in order to raise awareness.

I grew up with the vinyl release of three long tracks, the bonus material on the extended CD however don't blend well with the original work and appear to be really just that, "bonus". Some are quite good though, but in reality they shouldn't have been included here.

So, three long tunes delivered in a thoughtful and unhurried manner. Each one I consider a masterpiece and Skrzek's singing is just superb on every one of them. Apostolis on guitar is more in a support role here, adding flavor without dominating. I assume that there is an agreement between the two leaders on swapping the dominant role on different albums, but SBB is largely of Skrzeks's vehicle.

Special mention is due to the drummer who devised some simple, yet effective beats that I haven't heard anywhere else before, or since. It's regrettable that he chose to retire from the music scene leaving SBB with credible, but only semi-permanent replacements. (SBB has now become a duo with Apostolis attending to the skins, too.)

The album has a fine balance of plenty of grunt alongside beautiful melodies. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to BORA (BETA) | Report this review (#853105)
Posted Wednesday, November 07, 2012 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
4 stars SBB - Search, Break up, Build. Poland's most notable prog band (at least in the 70's), led by keyboardist/ multi-instrumentalist Jozef Skrzek. This far I've reviewed only their most accessible album Welcome (1979) - and perhaps a bit too favourably, because it does contain quite mediocre songs. Pamiec, their third album, builds from the preceding Nowy Horizont (1975) which had that classic SBB style of soft, spacey, jazz-tinged symphonic prog in greener form. The music is instrumentally oriented but with each vocal part - full of Peter Hammill-ish emotion without his over the top acrobatics - I wish I'd know Polish as the lyrics seem to have thoughtful depth. The sound is dominated by Moog synth which also does many bass lines, and the tempo is mostly relatively slow and spacey, reminding me of Dark Side -era Pink Floyd.

The fusion-style drumming is also excellent but the guitars of Greek-born Apostolis Antymos remain quite suppressed even when soloing. Two tracks (of 9-10 minutes) work very well as they wander from introspective atmosphere with vocals to more symphonic passages. The 20-minute 'Pamięć w Kamień Wrasta' (Memory Grows Into Stone) does not quite justify its length but again sounds good all the way, save the rather tiring and directionless opening section. I think this album is one of SBB's better works that can appeal to a demanding and patient prog fan who doesn't mind too much about the language barrier. 3˝ stars.

In a book on European prog SBB is described as a slow motion mixture of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Genesis and Yes. Well, at least I would change Genesis to Pink Floyd in that sentence, but maybe it has some truth in it.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#862071)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This amazing polish band SBB's record Pamiec from 1976 is now shortly reviewed by me after my first listening. One week ago I tried ten polish band and I was surprised how good they were. This is SBBs second studio album and like Yes Close to the Edge there is just three songs, but these three songs are very good. Like some other great bands the musicians on this disc are just three.

The band members here is Jozef Skrzek on bass, piano, organ, synthesisers and vocal, Antymos Apostolis on guitar and Jerzy Piotrowski on percussion. Directly when I put on this record I fell in love with it. I think I prefer the A-side. Here we have "W kolysce dloni twych" a marvelous piece that welcomes us with wide painting actions from everybody for example the singer with the extraordinary pleasant voice. I like when they warble in a cosmic way on this song and on the last one. Polish seams to be a wonderful language, unfortunately I don't understand it. These musicians are so skillfull that they don't need to do so much to please their audience. The driving seventies-guitar or the unusually present drums do a lot for the unity. "Pamiec w kamien wrasta" is the last track and a very long one. It takes a long time for the song to really begin. I don't know why, I am not use to jazz but this rather jazzy record has caught me. The feeling I got when I listened to this was that it is high music, professional music and I am very pleased of that. I'll gladly spread the name SBB over the world beacuse it's really worth listen to. I look forward to review more SBB records.

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Send comments to DrömmarenAdrian (BETA) | Report this review (#951546)
Posted Monday, April 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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