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Crossover Prog • Poland

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Beam-Light biography
Beam-Light was a Polish duo consisting of the talented and highly versatile artist Aleksandra Dudziak and drummer Wojciech Sochaczewski. The line-up was completed by highly regarded session musicians Gerard Niemczyk (a drummer who here also plays guitar), bassist Mateusz Cudzich, and saxophonist Marek Batorski

As a young artist Aleksandra started her career atypically, graduating in architecture and interior design at the Academy of Fine Arts specializing in artistic blacksmith techniques. Her interests ranged far beyond the creation of steel sculptures though, and she became a member of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers, with skills not only as a visual artist, but also as a singer and multi-instrumentalist. Playing keyboards and flute, and with a voice often compared to the likes of Kate Bush and Sinead 'O Connor, she received a diploma of the Summer Jazz Academy, and was the founder of a band called Alchemists before moving on to Beam-Light.
The band existed for around five years, and its music was played extensively on Kraków Radio and other Polish radio stations. Aleksandra Dudziak wrote both the music and lyrics of all songs - she even created the album artwork - and won awards at many music festivals as a solo artist, as well as touring extensively with Beam-Light. Their sole self-titled album was released in 2008 by Lynx Music, a Polish label owned by Millenium's keyboard player Ryszard Kramarski. The band is now defunct.
Aleksandra has performed alongside such stars as Michael Bajor, Elizabeth Towarnicka, Andrew Sikorowski, Wojciech Groborz, Anthony Krupa and the band Old Metropolitan Band - and the popular Polish band Hipgnosis invited her to perform at the fourth ProgGnozy concert (held on Saturday 12th May 2012 at Club Zaścianek in Kraków, Poland).

Thanks to yam-yam for the bio .

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BEAM-LIGHT discography

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4.81 | 2 ratings

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 Beam-Light by BEAM-LIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.81 | 2 ratings

Beam-Light Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This is a strange one, a one shot wonder from Poland that somehow failed to captivate any audience and subsequently faded into oblivion. Personally, I was intrigued by the way Beam-Light was marketed by a reputed prog supplier as a female-fronted band that owed a lot to Iona, Karnataka and Quidam. I am a big fan of lady vocalists, as they generally fare quite well within the symphonic/neo/folk environment I happen to adore. No access to a website or anything else, made the hunt even more mysterious.Other sites compared Beam-Light to Bjork, Sinaed O'Connor and Kate Bush. Somewhat off base, in my opinion, simple connections, I guess. Beam-Light is in fact closer to fellow Polish bands Nemezis and Strawberry Fields, both featuring gifted lady vocalists! She also peppers various other influences such as the Divinyls Christine Amphlett (who recently died), but make no mistake, Aleksandra Dudziak is an absolute shrieker, who also wields keyboards and whistles seethingly. She is helped by drummer Wojcieh Sochaczewski, as well as a guest musicians, on bass, sax and guitars. She thanks the boys for taking her compositions and adding a progressive cachet to them, whilst keeping the eerie feel she was no doubt yearning for. As such, this is very, very original music, at least to these ears. The first impression one gets is a style that is quite under-produced, almost raw like some garage band gone progressive (let's be honest, a rare event, to say the least), with hints of early Bauhaus more than anything typically prog. The mood is somber, gloomy and the gale-force voice of Aleksandra Dudziak comes across as spooky and psychotic. Let me tell you, it takes this seasoned ear a fair amount of adjusting, as the previously mentioned comparisons are somehow fluttering about in the yonder.

The band has the sheer audacity to present an epic track as opening salvo, a whopper escapade that has all the expected formula tossed out the window , the tremulous "Asking for the Promised Land " features echoing keys, military drums, a drowsy saxophone blast and raspy guitar strewn all over the arrangements. Dudziak talks, shrieks, screams, yells and anguishes, as if possessed by some demonic possession. She actually sounds more like punk-new wave singer Siouxsie Sioux than anything else. This is a dense track that is quite a ride and ends up being extremely effective and evocative.

Then comes a parade a mini-songs (3 to 5 minute range) , all strangely inter-related as if a glorious suite. The whistling lips only further confuse the blasé listener, the creepy "The Other Side of the Mirror" keeps the angst going with some quirky synthesized percussion, gritty guitar bursts and funeral organ backdrop. Aleksandra goes about her insane expression with little restraint, a voice that is definitely out there and as such, takes a little getting used to. A weary saxophone introduces "the Message", a solemn lament that gets the juices boiling, as Aleksandra really nails her performance, giving this piece an exhilarating veneer that remains intact and pulsating way after it ends. A cloudy guitar solo gives the piece some well-deserved applause. Another slayer track is the scintillating "Holy Cows", a pulsating affair that pushes the envelope even more, a world-class vocal delivery that stuns, confounds and impresses by its sheer physicality, man this woman can bellow brilliantly! 'Un peu de francais', mixed into her usual accented English. Slap happy bass solo convinces even further, showing off occasional chops, though definitely preferring team play. Prog perfection! "Set Ebu Sa" seems to be in Tagalog, the official language of the Phillipines , once again impetuous bass and drum work, rock solid, penetrating rhythms with a slight tropical funk tinge, yet drenched by that insane streak that drapes all over her tongue, like some magician, conjuring up images and visions that go beyond the boring norm. "Belly World" romps feverishly, punchy bass shoving this forward with apparent impunity. The synths swerve tempestuously, yet the voice really takes over, obsessive, playful and enchanting. The astonishing "Icy Eyes" slays the dragon once again, a relentless, ferocious, prickly and defining track that unleashes a manic vocal, equal parts prog, punk, opera, and torch singing, Aleksandra burns it up as if stricken with sweltering malaria, howling 'ever, ever again' over and over. Frightfully attractive, a true jaw-dropper! The solemn and sad "Drunk Thoughts" tackles inner pain with liquid desperation, a famed national attribute that never seems to fade away, as the Poles are a sensitive breed, utterly fatalistic, fiercely proud and romantic. Dudziak produces a cry from the soul that will blow your speakers, a shriek that even the Bush would be envious of. Piano, some symphonic orchestrations and a voice that stumbles, screeches, slices and sears with incredible emotion. I mean, WOW! "Waiting For" is the love song that probably emanates from the previous melancholia but it's so naturally under produced, that only realism, rawness and heartache ooze from the grooves. Need I say again, the vocal just shimmers beyond the widest horizon? Sheer unique beauty! The exasperating "Past the Door" relates again to emotional suffering, heartache, desperation and loss. The compulsive delivery swoons between the extremes of gentle and distraught. The music is low-key, hypnotic and brilliantly minimalist. All these songs have a common feel, yet all are unique in their presentation.

This seminal album sets down for bed with a killer epic "Far Away", a 7 minute spectacle that simply encompasses the artistic brilliance of a shooting star talent that arose in 2008 and faded away, unseen and unheard. Possessed, bewitching and beguiling, her voice just takes the music to another dimension, offering up a cool yet bluesy guitar solo and some lovely sax.

Amazing discovery as I have striven to point out, a music that is very raw, left-field, almost beyond the usual borders, highly comfortable in its own little ceremonial bubble, a moment in time that lasted briefly and poof! Disappeared?..Too bad for us fans but if you ever fantasized about owning a few iconoclastic prog albums , usually one-shot wonders, then this one would definitely qualify. This grows on you, inexorably you fall to its alluring charm.

5 ray illuminations

Thanks to tszirmay for the artist addition.

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