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LEBOWSKI

Crossover Prog • Poland


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Lebowski biography
From Band member RADOSLAV on their debut release:

LEBOWSKI - Are a band founded in 2002, playing a wide spectrum of progressive music.

On their debut album in 2010, the listener gets to experience the tunes along the lines of artistic rock, motion picture music, experimental and improvisation, all with harmonized integrity.
"Cinematic" is music for a non-existent film. From a theme aspect we can intrepidly consider it as a concept album, dedicated to the 'big figures' of the Polish and World Cinema.
Lyrics for "Cinematic" are original quotes adopted from the classical Polish and international films.

Bio supplied by Marty McFly

Lebowski official website

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CinematicCinematic
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LEBOWSKI discography


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LEBOWSKI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 128 ratings
Cinematic
2010

LEBOWSKI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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5.00 | 1 ratings
Goodbye My Joy
2014

LEBOWSKI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

4 stars LEBOWSKI is a Polish group founded in 2002, playing a wide spectrum of Progressive Music with sound landscapes.

So far they have released only one album called Cinematic (2010) and the band consider it to be 'music for a non-existent film'. Quite accurate, cause it is just like a film soundtrack.

Lebowski is formed by Marcin Grzegorczyk (guitars), Marcin Łuczaj (keyboards), Marek Żak (bass) and Krzysztof Pakuła (drums). And delivers pretty much rich and vast musical canvas where you have to focus and put your mind to picture the non-existent film. The album was recorded partially in one of the band member's apartment and for that reason I can say that the sound of Cinematic (2010) is quite good if you analyze the band limitations at that time.

The album is a good mix of Progressive Rock and atmospheric music where you can close your eyes and get involved in their music. To help create this environment, several voices of actual movies were used. Movies like '2001: A Space Odyssey', 'Gangsterzy I Filantropi', 'Hydrozagdka', 'Pamiętnik Znaleziony W Saragossie', 'Le Pacte Des Loups' and 'Bariera'. Aside that the album is completely instrumental with keyboards and guitars taking over the main roles most of the time. The only exceptions are the tracks '137 Sec.' and 'Old British Spy Movie' where Katarzyna Dziubak appears to do some ethereal vocals and to play a very nice violin.

The opening track 'Trip To Doha' has an initial drum beat that is pure 'Bullet The Blue Sky' from U2, but it's just a first moment. 'Cinematic' brings voices to our ears and it's quite emotional and pretty. Another good track from Cinematic (2010) is 'Iceland' (they have a video for it on Youtube).

The album is carried with lots of samples too, which helps to increase the ambience of their music.

The digipack is something that must be mentioned. The beautiful package comes with great pictures and the artwork is astonishing. The band that is worthy to be checked for sure!

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars Undeniably your prog movie soundtrack

A lot of kind words, and not unjustifiably, have been written for Lebowski's first imaginary movie soundtrack. A journey through (mainly) European cinematography is this ~65 minute-instrumental album, and pays tribute to sounds of the past and present with some beautiful landscapes. The music here is relatively simple, however, incorporating progressive rock music in a lot of aspects, mainly the atmosphere and secondly the selective time signature breaks here and there.

The music can be better described as a filtration of a cinematic aesthetic through the undeniable influence of emotion from other Polish bands, e.g. Riverside, but also Hogarth-era Marillion. Warm, deep melodies, set at a low pace, dominate the entirety of this soundtrack. An interesting and rather intriguing characteristic of this record is that of visualisation; the listener is left to picture the imaginary landscapes created via the different instruments and sounds.

Flow-wise, the album starts off very strong with powerful melodies in the first three-four tracks but then flattens out to more expected tempos, before ending again on a high note. The music does not get any complex at any time, so this is not recommended to those looking out for an orgasm of odd-time signatures. I did enjoy the different themes of the album, from Doha to Paris, and the variation of instruments used to create it. On the cons side, I find it a bit longer than it could have been, but also a tad too simple e.g. a bit more variation in tempos would have helped it in terms of variety and engagement of the listener.

All considered, this is a beautiful album to listen through, made with real emotion and passion. My rating is 3.5 stars, expecting an even better follow up.

Many thanks to Radek, the band's manager, for making this available for review.

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Simple, effective, beautiful and emotional: the art of Polish progressive rock

Poland is quite a mystifying place when comes to progressive rock. Since back when the country was under the oppressive Soviet veil and had all that official State paraphernalia to spy and diminish liberties and free thought, music flourished in communist Poland to the point of exporting acts to neighboring Czechoslovakia, where producing and playing such kind of music would grant you a considerably long stay in one of the country's most lovely places for socially inadequate behavior.

Music from that period of said Western Slavic country (considering mostly the major progressive acts such as Niemen, SBB and Mark Grechuta) aren't as energetic as the Western European counterparts, both from Continental Europe and the British Isles, but carried some emotional depth and beauty few could equal in the free world. They also managed to keep their music somewhat simpler than the main acts from our side of the Iron Fence.

With the communist regime's dismantlement during the late 1980's and early 1990's and with the influx of new influences, Poland found itself as being a hot spot for a genre of progressive rock that is met nearly with contempt by some today for arguably being stationed in the same place for the past 30 years: neo prog. Yes, if you don't know yet, neo prog (as well as the bands behind its sound, such as Pink Floyd) is pretty big there, so much that most Polish bands listed here (that are from after the wall went down, of course) ARE neo prog bands and even those that are not are deeply influenced by neo prog (just to mention some of the most well know of them, Riverside started only because some headbangers that played in death metal bands found out they both liked Marillion and Osada Vida has some obvious neo vibe to it). Like it or not, neo's deep emotional feelings, lush beauty and simplicity is all over Polish progressive rock.

So, what does any of this has to do with this fantastic act that I've been so kindly asked to review? Well, being Lebowski from that same Slavic country I've been talking about, it couldn't fall very far from where it came; the band does not play the mentioned genre of progressive rock that emerged during the 1980's, but as said before, its influence is stretched all over Poland. Lebowski, however, manged to stray away from cliches and well-know places in progressive rock and went for the higher road, with something else added: simplicity; indeed, they managed to put together an album that not only emotional and beautiful, but also were able to make it easy to listen and relate to, even for people outside progressive rock circles. They've managed to fulfill Shakespeare's saying brevity is the soul of wit, creating an opus that is both able to reach for progressive rock fans with its intricate musical build-up and outsiders with their simple, but effective approach to it, much like Mariusz Duda managed to do in his side project Lunatic Soul.

Another favorable point for them is the fact that there are no vocals in their album, something that, in my opinion, just accents their music even more. I also believe that there would be some difficulty in finding the right kind of voice, someone with the appropriate vocal abilities to fill in and fit their style. Another upside to the lack of vocals (even though there are some minor vocal lines in 137 sec.) is that Lebowski's music fits very well with their premise, which is create a soundtrack for a non- existent film, as well as an homage to Polish film and world-wide cinema (hence the album's title, Cinematic); such intentions are accentuated with a series of movie quotations / cuts that appear throughout the album, being most of them Polish movies since the chief intention is take a bow for Polish cinema in general, and there's even camera roll by the end of the album.

As for the instrumentalists and compositions themselves, I must say that I do like what I hear, a lot. First, because nothing here is unnecessary. As I mentioned before, Lebowski keeps it simple and effective, making every melody line and every instrument fit just right with each other. Second, even though most of the time the guitar or keyboards stay at the forefront of the band's sound, neither the bass or the drums get behind, they all merge together in the music, complementing whoever has the spotlight; and I mean spotlight here in a very broad way, because there is no real shining piece or mind blowing solos, just one instrument that is leading the melody. Third, all music evolves as a whole, everything has a meaning and a purpose.

Rating and Final Thoughts

Lebowski is, for me, one of those bands I would never be able to meet if it wasn't for the prog community and aggressively searching for new things to listen to. Their album, in spite of being excellent and being easily to relate to, unfortunately has no place in today's music business, as it happens with the majority of progressive rock bands. The fact that they sound original, thus can't be quite compared to anybody for that, don't help either. Even so, they fight on, creating great music.

Nonetheless, however great their debut opus might be, I feel that it doesn't quite reach the high level that I regard for masterful albums. That's no derogatory thing, though, Cinematic is impressive regardless of that. Indeed, I think it would appeal to all progressive rock fans I know as it has appealed to myself for their touching art rock. For that, I believe that this album's rating is four stars.

As a final note, I would like to thank Radek Ratomski for allowing me to know more about this impressive band and letting me have the privilege of reviewing their work. I am truly thankful for this.

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. The description of the music these guys make sounded right up my alley so I took the plunge and have been listening to this for over a week. What I found after several days was that I really enjoyed it at the beginning but tired of it towards the end. It is kind of samey and long at almost 67 minutes. What I like about it is the atmosphere and heaviness. It's cool to hear the spoken words that pop up out of nowhere throughout this record. The sound seems like it's layered in the studio to my ears. It has lots of depth to it. Love the first three tracks and then it starts to go downhill for me and i'm done well before it's over. This is a Polish band who have gained a lot of praise for this instrumental album that is supposed to be film music for movies.

"Trip To Doha" is almost orchestral sounding to start then a beat with guitar takes over. Spoken words after 3 minutes then the piano leads before the guitar takes that role once again. "137 Seconds" opens with atmosphere with drums and more. Female vocal expressions join in around a minute. It's heavier before 2 minutes when the vocals stop. She's back as it settles again as contrasts continue. "Cinematic" opens with keyboards as a full sound kicks in right away. Nice heavy guitar too. It stops as horns (sampled) come in with vocal melodies. Spoken words follow. Keyboards are back then that heaviness. Great track ! Three excellent songs to open. "Old British Spy Movie" opens with piano and we get some sampled sax and real violin throughout. "Iceland" opens with picked guitar as a beat, piano then spoken words follow. The words will come and go. Nice bass late.

"Encore" has spoken words and a rich sound. Sampled accordion before 1 1/2 minutes. Female and male spoken words follow. The guitar becomes aggressive at one point. "Apertif For Breakfast" is mellow with a music box-like sound then a heavy rhythm takes over. The guitar solos over top then it's the piano's turn. It's heavy again after 4 1/2 minutes. Nice. "Spiritual Machine" has a good heavy sound to it until a calm arrives with samples after 2 minutes then it builds. "The Storyteller" features piano and atmosphere as spoken words join in. A change 4 1/2 minutes in with a plastic sounding beat and organ-like sounds. Then it kicks in. "Human Error" ends the album with spoken words after a minute and prominant guitar. Organ and percussion lead then the guitar returns.

There's so much here that I enjoy but not for over an hour. Take my rating with a grain of salt as i'm the only one to give this 3 stars so far, but this isn't a 4 star record in my world unless you cut it to my favourite 40 minutes.

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Lebowski is a project from Poland, originally conceived in 2005, but this debut was finally released in 2010. It is an instrumental work, albeit with voices and chants, and, as with many such works, the key to success is keeping the listener interested and challenged. This it succeeds in doing. It is described as the "soundtrack to a non-existent movie", and includes along the way all types of homage to the great and lasting art form.

Opener, Trip To Doha, opens up in a nice jazzy groove, before developing into a more "traditional" symphonic prog track. There are some nice guitar licks with a gentle synth background. The duduk is introduced as a very nice accompaniment giving a Mid Eastern feel, quite in keeping with the subject matter, and my only real gripe is that the track could have benefited a little more from this. Steve Hackett was, I feel, a little more successful in his last outing at creating such a mood.

137 sec. is next, and I love the Hammond Dulcimer played, which provides again a very welcome Asian/World feel to proceedings, together with a marvellous vocal performance by Kasia Dziubak providing a far more ethereal and mysterious feel to proceedings. Elsewhere, the moog is somewhat "by the numbers", but the bass and guitar riffs are nicely funky. When this track is adventurous and daring, it is very good indeed.

Cinematic is the title track, and a real highlight. It is vibrant and warm, with the keys, especially, moving out of a comfort zone and providing a challenging, but rewarding, listen. Think of a jazzy symphonic movement (the drums are especially good), and you are somewhere near the mark, and the sax and choral vocals simply add to the mellow and enjoyable feel of a very good piece of music, which never once loses the listener's attention, having more than enough signature changes to keep one interested.

Old British Spy Movie is a must for those of us who love the old "noir" films of the classic period. It captures the mood perfectly. The piano lead, especially, is full of mystery, and when Kasia Dziubak enters the fray with a magical and mournful violin, it just gets better. Add in some brass samples, a strong bass riff, and what you have here is a marvellous track which, again, pushes all of the right "mood buttons", with artful changes in tempo to keep you alert.

Iceland, apparently the oldest written track on the album, is a tribute to Zdzislaw Maklakiewcz and Roman Klosowski, two Polish actors of some fame in their homeland. Not knowing enough about them, I cannot really comment on how the track brings them to life, but I can say it is a pleasant track with nice symphonic sensibilities without ever being especially stretching, and includes a lovely piano solo.

Encore is a "French" track, and is suitably dark and complex in homage to that great nation's cinematic works. I like this track a great deal. The accordion is great and evokes the feel of the nation more than adequately, whilst the guitar solo, set against a very brooding synth riff, is very accomplished, and, at times, quite beautiful, especially some four & a half minutes in when the hairs are raised with a passage redolent of some of the best Mark Knopfler moments. It doesn't last long, but it is wonderful when it is there.

Aperitif For Breakfast (O.M.R.J.) is dense and jazzy and, to my ears, at the start, very reminiscent of some of the more tuneful and accessible latter-day Crimson music. There is a special mention here for Marcin Luczey's piano work and the lovely guitar lead by Marcin Grzegorczyk. Later on, the track develops into a very much Marillion-esque feel when Marek Zak and Krzysztof Pakula take to the fore with an immense rhythm section. The denouement is the closest the band come to a huge wall of sound, and it is very good indeed.

Spiritual Machine is my favourite track on the album. A dark, guitar led piece that transports us all into a futuristic film led by intelligent robots/machines/computers. It is almost doom- laden in parts, but Grzegorczyk's work immerses us in that world perfectly, together with intelligent use of machine voice effects. Most welcome, though, are the softer passages, ambient, pastoral, and beautiful amongst the gloom which portray a world far more complex than at first glance.

The Story Teller is, apparently, the track which changed the most during the recording period, and sets off at a light, pleasant, but unremarkably ambient pace, although I do like the very well played bass lead. There are also some nice French Horns included, but I think this is the one track where, mid to 2/3rd through, the attention does clearly wander, before the gloom is relieved somewhat by a heavier denouement.

Human Error is the closer, and the longest track on the album at just short of eight minutes long. I'm not sure whether this was aimed at the Robert Young film of the same name, but, if so, it does musically very well paint the picture of a conflict between the leads and their scheming boss. It is very broody and also very good. The lovely jazzy licks, featuring a beautiful oboe, take me to the place of the excellent 2011 King Crimson ProjeKct, and is very welcome.

The film reel clicking at the end is a fitting conclusion to this tribute to the movies. Alright, Anderson & Vangelis have done it before, but so what?

There is an eclectic mix of moods here. At turns broody, melancholic, bright, and beautiful, it is very rarely anything less than wholly engaging, and this is an album which is highly recommended to those of you who not only enjoy instrumental progressive music, but also those prepared to take a little bit of time to appreciate it.

Sit back, put it on, and enjoy. Four stars for this. An excellent addition to any thoughtful prog collection. Let's hope for more in the not too distant future, because I feel there is something even more special to come. At their best, pushing the boat out, they are quite excellent.

My thanks to the band for making the CD available for me to review.

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars In a strange time when economical crisis news come as daily reports from battle fields,when Greeks attack their banks and ministries as enemies' bastions,when crazy guy somewhere on the North killing people around just to attract attention he's not happy with the world he lives in... this album is about beauty. I spent first week of new year listening to full discog of Albert Ayler - talented guy who started playing sax as if he would like to destroy the world,continued with marching orchestra and later was found dead in New York City's East River being just 34, a presumed suicide.Ok, it happened four decades ago but do you really think the world became better?

Lebowski self released debut is about beauty! I was born in great place but in bad time - world around was mostly grey with lot of red during annual May Day demonstrations.Almost everything different then grey was banned. The one among few things helped to survive was music from Polish radio I could listen without big problems - Polish border wasn't too far. Polish radio was like a window to the world - the music there was different I could hear around me - soulful,tasteful and... free. And - beautiful! I grew up listening Komeda and Tomasz Stanko, then - polish pop-jazz vocalists,later - Lady Punk. Czesalw Niemen turned my world around, SBB were my rock teachers.

A lot of time has gone but Polish music is still same - soulful,slightly melancholic and ... beautiful. From very first "Cinematic" chords I just returned back to my teens. Same feeling I have when driving hour after hour by night crossing Poland and listening "Trojka" night radio...

This album is not for your head but for your heart. Soundtrack for non-existent movie - this music is strong enough to become the basis for video line. Liquid density full of melancholy and Slavic soulful roots. Unfortunately my knowledge of Polish movies is too limited to give me the possibility to recognize where from comes one or another dialogue. I just see the ghost of Komeda under that late night sound, hear some world tunes and feel melancholy of French movies from 60s. And it's more than enough - as I already said this music is for your heart,not head...

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars I've been wondering why more prog artists haven't moved more toward cinematic soundscapes like this. Seems a natural fit for creative/artistic mood-affecting instrumental music. I know a lot of prog artists have ventured successfully into the film soundtrack business. While this is a wonderful collection of familiarly cinematic songs with superb recording production and an amazing array of interesting, melodic sound/instrument (& voice) uses, my one reservation is the fairly constant "lounge" pacing/rhythms. Music to chill out to. Very pleasant and interesting background music. When one does give it one's full attention, one is greatly rewarded by the details, subtleties, and variations within the aural scapes. I just can't get past this slight 'disappointment' that I'm listening to 'sophisticated' urban lounge music. Still, I cannot resist rating this anything less than 4.5 stars--it is masterful, fascinating, seductive . . . but is it an essential piece of every prog lover's music collection. I have to vote no.

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by lucas
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars "Lebowski", "cinematic", two words that are linked to movies. The band Lebowski indeed intended to perform a soundtrack to a non-existent movie, like Mike Patton did with his project Fantomas. The music proposed is strongly rooted in space rock (echoes of Pink Floyd and fellow countrymen of Riverside can be heard), but in order to fit a non-existent movie, the band broadened their canvas by incorporating elements of ambient music, prog metal, "ethnic" music and extracts of voices from movies (mainly polish, but also french and english).

As it is difficult to give an overall picture of the music recorded, I will go through each track separately to give an overview of the influences and the diversity shared across the tracks.

- First track starts in an ethnic ambient mood with duduk, it is strongly reminiscent of the band Deleyaman and would be perfect for a record on Prikosnovénie or Equilibrium label. Then we are in known territories, with a space rock à la Riverside. - The second track features zither and vocalises that remind of ethnic ambient stuff of Dead Can Dance or her frontwoman, Lisa Gerrard, very soothing music. Bendir follows and gives an oriental feel to the music, it accompanies zither and vibraphone. Afterwards, the track alternates between intimate atmospheric oriental-sounding music and more daring instrumental prog metal with guitars and keys. A passage with electric piano and "heavenly" guitars (does anyone remember Cocteau Twins ?) follows. The end of the track blends vocalises, "heavenly" guitars and electric piano. - Third track opens with music that is in the "heavenly" genre, and could come straight from the 4AD label. A flute gives it the symphonic feel of a Happy The Man track (the symphonic prog rock band led by flautist/keyboardist extraordinaire Kit Watkins). A choir followed by "heavenly" guitars and repeted piano notes transport us to an "ambient" land. Drums then roll and guitars rage for a cross to the spacey prog metal land of Riverside. Drums then roll again, but this time like a bolero, and flute and choir put an end to the track. - The fourth track starts with a melancholic piano, resonant of fellow countryman Zbigniew Preisner. We are then transported to a more cinematic world, close to Pat Metheny's moving "last train home". Some echo-effects with harp and violin follow. Discrete trumpet can be heard in the background then a short passage with chaotic guitars. Peace and quietness are back with harp layers. Harp alternates with trumpet, and some hypnotic heavenly guitars emerge. - Fifth track shows a further move for heavenly music à la Cocteau Twins, opening with "heavenly" guitars. The whole track remains in a heavenly mood, presenting with some nice post-romantic piano layers here and there and discrete trombone. - On the sixth track, the aim was to pay a tribute to french music and movies, hence the presence of an accordion. The track opens once again in a "heavenly" mode, or we can even dare saying "gothic" (not surprising given the movie chosen for the voice extract, "le pacte des loups"). Some glockenspiel can be heard within the "heavenly" passage. Then, in order to give the track a french flavor, accordion enters and later on a short passage with harmonica can be heard. Faithful to their eclectism, the band integrated a keyboard solo after the french connection, before giving back to the accordion its place. A slightly prog metal passage follows and the accordion closes the track with the word "merci" from a voice sample. - The seventh track opens with a lullaby-sounding piano (Luigi Rubino of the band Ashram, signed on prikosnovénie, comes to mind). It quickly shifts to instrumental prog metal with a piano/guitar duel. Soft pan flute follows, then electric piano substitutes to the acoustic piano and duels with guitar. - We move to the eigth track, which has interesting reverbering keyboard effects, interspersed with echoing guitar soli. Lamenting guitars follow and some processed vocals are transitioned with nice hypnotic piano/guitar work. Guitars become then most daring, transporting us once again to the know territories of Riverside. - The two thirds of the ninth track are in the "ambient" mood, gentle piano/keyboard being joined by fretless bass and discrete percussion. The last third is in a sixties psychedelic rock mood, fast-tempo drums being accompanied with vintage Hammond organ. - The closing track features a voice sample of 2001 space odyssey and is a guitar-lead track, with some welcome Steve Vai-like effects. Piano, guitar and Hammond organ answer to each other. Piano and fretless bass then quieten the mood. Some echoes of fellow countrymen of symphonic prog rock band Satellite can be witnessed in the keyboard layers that follow the bass solo. The atmosphere then turns to jazzy ambient (à la Jan Garbarek) with a thoughtful saxophone-piano duet. The track ends with the sound of the projector stopping after the end of a movie.

In a nutshell, Lebowski is highly recommended for people who like their music eclectic and thoughtful.

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by talha

4 stars I heard that this album comes with the origami boat on the cover . That's the thing that made me listen to this album. This is my first spin but the album's strenght definitely deserves a review.

These are 6-7 minutes of instrumental tracks, which have different characteristics and different "scene"s. The progressive feeling of this album is there, thanks to brave choices of instruments (like duduk) and all the songs are well-structured to sound progressive. The album flows wonderfully.

The album has a very nice artwork with great photography and the idea of Cinematic and song- by-song introduction written by the band itself.

The album took a long and hard time to get done, and the result is what I may call a "truly deserved beauty". So I recommend it to anyone who wants to listen to something eclectic with superb instrumentation and intellectually strong ideas.

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 Cinematic by LEBOWSKI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 128 ratings

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Cinematic
Lebowski Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Since the moment where I received the album and found a paper boat (just like the boat in the cover art) I knew this album would be magical, and when I listened to it for the first time, I knew my feelings were right, and loved it since the very first moment. I dare say this is the album I've listened to the most in the last month. The reasons, I could create my own inexistent film in my head, thanks to these ten compositions.

So be prepared, because here you will have 66 minutes of excellent, well-composed, wonderfully arranged music. It starts with "Trip to Doha", a colorful composition with a soft start but with a wonderful progression. I love the guitars and the prominent synthesizer that really knows how to create the most accurate atmospheres. Worth (and necessary) mentioning that this is an instrumental track, but with some vocals which are actually taken from different films. This is a great introductory track that gives an idea of how a single track can create hundreds of images.

"137 sec." has in moments a dark atmosphere that creates a sensation of tension, even drama. You can close your eyes and let the music and the female vocals take you to their realm, and become an actor of their film. It is up to you. "Cinematic", the track, has a wonderful development and a brilliant structure. I really like how they are adding different elements while the seconds pass, they don't limit themselves and surprises us with new chords, atmospheres, figures and rhythm, creating a challenging track that may describe everyone's day; just use your imagination and you will pass through several and quite different passages.

Probably my favorite combo comes next, first with "Old British Spy Movie" and later with "Iceland". The first one really suggests what the title says, however, one can modify it and use it for another kind of film, for instance, at first with the piano I imagine a lonely person lying in a bed and thinking, and when guitars and the other elements appear, that same person is having some flashbacks or flashforwards, imagining the life before and after. An additional element here is the violin, which adds pure beauty to the music, changing the mood and putting an atmosphere of hope and charm. What a wonderful track! The second one starts with guitar and synth, along with some vocals in a language I ignore; then the track little by little progresses, with a structure which may not be that complex, but that is once again full of elements such as colors, nuances and textures. Here the combination between music and words is amazing, no matter you don't understand the language, you can create your own images and stories thanks to the emotional tone.

"Encore" has an obvious French connection due to the accordion-like that softly sounds after a minute, and of course due to the vocals. The music is a carrousel that shares diverse emotions, from uncertainty or drama, to beauty and tranquility. It is incredible how Lebowsky manages to gather so many emotions and sounds in a few minutes, which demonstrates their skills as composers and performers. "Aperitif for Breakfast (O.M.R.J.) starts with a piano that reminds me of some old horror films, but it only lasts for some seconds until the song changes. And then its structure is being built, with a great use of guitars, rhythm and solo; soft drums and the always accurate and elegant keyboard and synth player.

"Spiritual Machine" may be one of those tracks hard to forget, evidently because of the machine speaking, but also because of the music itself. Holy [&*!#], I really love how it is catching you little by little, involving you until you are completely trapped under its charm, hypnotized by its powers. Another positive point is that the song (actually all the songs) is not repetitive, it is always morphing and adding elements over and over, like real life; so this may be our soundtrack after all.

"The Storyteller (Svensson)" starts with soft piano and a dreamy atmosphere that later will be joined by vocals (film), bass and the other instruments. This may be the softest track of the album at least for the first four minutes, because later keyboards and drums appear and give it a stronger feeling which is complemented by the mighty electric guitar; this passage is not that long, it last for a minute until a kind of alarm sounds and the music just fades out. The album finishes with "Human Error" , which is another cool track that softly starts but becomes more intense seconds later. Here the guitar plays an important role, while drums constantly sound and piano leaves its mark here and there. After three minutes the band surprises us once again with a short section with percussion, creating a totally different sound, then it returns to form and completes the track.

What a wonderful album, I highly recommend it, so please give it a chance, get it, open your mind and create your own images. It is worth it, believe me. Five stars,

Enjoy it!

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