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PETER MATUCHNIAK

Prog Related • United States


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Peter Matuchniak biography
PETER MATUCHNIAK is an incredibly versatile musician, since the 80?s he has played guitar and sometimes keyboards in different bands like MACH ONE and JANYSIUM (Neo Prog). Later in his career he became more eclectic, founding the simpler EVOLVE IV and the versatile GEKKO PROJECT, but despite his busy agenda, he managed to release a solo album in 2012 called "Uncover Me" in which he blends almost every possible genre from AOR and POP to Fusion with hints of Symphonic and Crossover Prog.

I always wondered where could the genesis of this heterogeneous taste be found and the reply came from a document released by his label which explained that his parents raised the Matuchniak family on Classical music, but his brother introduced him to Jazz while his sister into top 40, but the main influence came from his experience as a musicians playing in several Prog bands, so now as an adult has blended all this sounds into his most recent project.

His debut album "Uncover me" may sound too simple for the purists of the genre, but it's undeniable that the Prog elements are present in most of the songs, plus a musician who has devoted almost all his life to our beloved genre, deserves to be mentioned in our site that with just cause is recognized as the ultimate Prog Rock Resource.

Iván Melgar-Morey :::: Perú

Peter Matuchniak official website

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DestinyDestiny
Melodic Revolution Records
Audio CD$12.00
Uncover MeUncover Me
PROGROCK RECORDS 2012
Audio CD$10.16
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3.49 | 6 ratings
Uncover Me
2012

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PETER MATUCHNIAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Uncover Me by MATUCHNIAK, PETER album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.49 | 6 ratings

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Uncover Me
Peter Matuchniak Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Back in the 1980's Peter Matuchniak was part of the neo-progressive rock movement with Janysium and Mach One, before taking a break from the scene. He recently started making music again and has released albums with Gekko Projekt and Evolve IV while this is his debut solo album. One of the names I recognized from the band list was that of drummer Jimmy Keegan who replaced Nick D'Virgilio in Spock's Beard (as well as playing with Santana etc). This is an album of countless styles, yet they are all brought together by Peter's strong guitar work. There is a liberal use of sax which adds greatly to overall proceedings, and singers Natalie Azerad and Ted Zahn do a great job. While playing this I was trying to think what it reminded me of and it took a long time before I realized that in many ways this encompasses much of what Jeremy Morris delivers, except while Jeremy usually has just one style an album Peter goes from acoustic to psychedelic to 'classic' to prog to jazz to whatever he likes all in the one place. But, far from feeling disjointed this is very much a complete piece of work.

On the rear of the digipak Peter classifies this as "Adult Contemporary Rock (Progressive/Jazz/ Folk)" and who am I to disagree? This is an album that can be enjoyed on first hearing, but the more that it is played the more the listener gets from it as there is something here that draws you in, whether it is the calm and warm brass or the soaring Floyd-esque vocals. This is a mature album that fans of good music, whatever the genre, will find indispensible. www.progrockrecords.com

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 Uncover Me by MATUCHNIAK, PETER album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.49 | 6 ratings

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Uncover Me
Peter Matuchniak Prog Related

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Uncover Me' - Peter Matuchniak (6/10)

It takes a certain level of class and charm to make music that's both complex and mellow. Many jazz musicians are able to do this, navigating daunting skill while still managing to keep a venue's atmosphere chilled and laid-back. Even some classical music finds a balance between these two. Now, the work of multi-instrumentalist Peter Matuchniak is neither jazz or classical in nature, but the same principle applies to what he does on "Uncover Me". In spite of the rich orchestration and lengthy host of guest musicians, this album is- at its core, a down-to-earth and intimate piece of music. For better and worse, "Uncover Me" offers a brand of progressive rock that demands little of the listener.

Peter's in a few different bands, but I was first introduced to his music via Gekko Projekt, an instrumental prog fusion quartet that released its debut album earlier this year. Although I was not entirely sold on their sound, the one element that really stood out was Peter's guitar playing. He does not attempt to overtly impress his listeners with pyrotechnic displays, instead letting his guitar ferment and sing slowly. In this respect, he's a little like Jeff Beck. Approaching this solo record, I was surprised to hear so little of his lead playing.. In fact, much of "Uncover Me" is actually balanced off between the many instruments that come into play. The songwriting often takes something of an intimate singer-songwriter approach, but the wealth of different instruments and voices used holds the album firmly within the prog rock sphere.

Although Matuchniak is responsible for the compositions and arrangement on "Uncover Me", one has to wonder just how much of a solo album this really is. On top of the main man's major contribution, there are a total of eleven other instrumentalists cited as playing an active role in the sound. There is a male (Ted Zahn) and female (Natalie Azerad) singer here, as well as three saxophonists... But wait! One of these saxophonists (David Gilman) also delivers a flute solo that could have passed for Black Widow frontman Clive Jones himself. There's always something going on with "Uncover Me". Sadly, the number of musicians used never feels totally realized in what they could do. The only moment throughout "Uncover Me" where the music truly feels as ambitious as I thought it would be is during "London Vibe", an incendiary instrumental burst with saxophones ablaze.

I will remember "Uncover Me" for its lighter, acoustic songs, and this may be where Peter's songwriting tact reveals itself the most. "Lionheart Betrayed", "Sandcastles" and the sixties folk song "Hippy in the Rain" all steal my heart. The vocal work is most poignant in these moments, and the acoustic sound really works with Peter's sincere approach. Although the jazzier, rockier tunes on "Uncover Me" are well put-together, it does not carry the same emotional resonance. Even so, Peter Matuchniak has compiled a convincing batch of songs here, with influences across the board. It would have been nice to hear more of his acoustic-based songwriting, but it remains clear that Peter's big talent lies with the guitar. It will be interesting to hear where Peter goes next!

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 Uncover Me by MATUCHNIAK, PETER album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.49 | 6 ratings

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Uncover Me
Peter Matuchniak Prog Related

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Pleasant Surprise

One of the hardest situations I have to face as a reviewer, is when a friend sends me his new album, because if I rate it too high it may seem as favoritism, but if I'm more exigent than usual, I may be unfair with a musician just because he's my friend. So after adding PETER MATUCHNIAK'S album to Prog Related, decided to wait a bit and write the review of Uncover Me only after listening the album repeatedly and trying to keep away the friendship that relates us for a couple years.

Since then I had the chance to review the excellent album of his new band GEKKO PROJECT and was not disappointed, but this time Peter send me his solo release in which he plays a lighter form of Prog with members of his two bands, a new drummer (Jimmy Keegan) plus two vocalists (the fantastic Natalie Azerad and the sober Ted Zahn).

Uncover Me is opened by Falling Ash (Landscape Burning Pt 1) and it's powerful keyboard lead intro that soon turns into some sort of PINK FLOYD inspired track, where Natalie sings in the vein of Claire Torry while Ted Zahn adds his voice almost as Roger Waters would had done.

Very trippy musical piece with excellent performances and even narration, acoustic guitar and atmospheric keys, plus the chance listen Peter playing his guitar with a style reminiscent of David Gilmour, something astonishing for those of us who are used to his more aggressive approach.

Running Blind begins as a continuation of the previous song but this time the music morphs into a melancholic track with a heartbreaking performance by Natalie and a band that is giving their best with explosive guitar passages that sound more like Peter Matuchniak on EVOLVE IV. The jazzy bass by Jim DeBaun creates a delightful contrast with the heavier performance of the group.

Uncover Me caught me by surprise because I would never expect a folksy medieval tune by this guys, but they took the risk with an acoustic guitar enhancing the beautiful vocal work, almost an interlude before the energetic Down In New Orleans, a bluesy ballad with Ted Zahn singing with a country edge, and again PETER MATUCHNIAK offering an excellent performance boosted with the dramatic sax by Conor Jonson, until now, I like what I hear.

Even when more mainstream oriented, Running Back to You is a very interesting song, a nice combination between Rock guitar and Jazzy vocals. Please pay special attention to the outstanding drumming by Jimmy Keegan.

London Vibe is another jazz oriented track with a fantastic sax and frantic keyboards that creates a pleasant contrast with the soft and "troubadouresque" Lionheart Betrayed where Ted Zahn offers a delightful performance enhanced by Natalie´s sweet choirs and a pastoral flute, really beautiful.

Sandcastles is a short and delicate 53 seconds interlude that prepares the listener for the eclectic Across the Pond in which Peter wanders through the limits between "Blues based Rock" and Jazz, not my favorite piece (too soft and a bit in the vein of Herp Albert), but still good especially because the excellent keyboards.

Now it's time for the "piece of resistance", the extremely elaborate and absolutely eclectic Rising Sun that offers everything a Prog fan loves, starting with radical changes that take us from Folk to Jazz just to end in a very complex Prog section with reminiscences of KING CRIMSON. It's also interesting to notice that the song goes "in crescendo" from melodic and soft to frenetic and vibrant, really outstanding musical piece.

The album ends with Hippy in the Rain an acoustic ballad with THE BEATLES and BOB DYLAN influence that captures the spirit of the late 60's and somehow reminds me of singer songwriters as DONOVAN and CAT STEVENS with a touch of San Francisco Psychedelic scenario.

If Uncover Me had been added to a full Prog sub-genre as Crossover or Eclectic, I would had been forced to rate it with no more than 3 stars, because it would be evidently out of place, but being that the Administrators decided to include it in Prog Related, I have more freedom to go with four stars, because this album is a great addition for any musical collection, of course if we are able to appreciate the beautiful blend of Prog and mainstream genres that the band offers us.

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 Uncover Me by MATUCHNIAK, PETER album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.49 | 6 ratings

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Uncover Me
Peter Matuchniak Prog Related

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars US based composer and instrumentalist Peter MATUCHNIAK first appeared back in the 80's as a member of Janysium and Mach One, two of the lesser known bands active in the so called neo progressive movement in 80's England. Many years later he has returned as an active musician, first with Evolve IV and later with Gekko Projekt. He's also found the time to record material for a solo album, and makes his debut as a solo artist in 2012 with "Uncover Me".

"Uncover Me" isn't an album that will inspire much adoration form a strictly art rock oriented audience due to the singer/songwriter stylistic roots. But if you enjoy music of this kind given embellished arrangements and utilizing compositional development to hover near the borders of the art rock realm, and think you might enjoy a few folk and jazz tinged excursions to boot, then this is an artist and album that might just charm you into exploring it more thoroughly.

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Thanks to ivan_melgar_m for the artist addition.

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