Jacek Doroszenko – Wide Grey
Eilean have done it again, with another fine release from an up-and-coming, talented sound artist. The label covers a variety of sounds and styles and in Wide Grey, they welcome the ingenious sound design of Warsaw, Poland native Jacek Doroszenko.
Jacek has recently set up a studio/gallery in Warsaw alongside Ewa Doroszenko, to share his Audio/Visual work in which a largely monochrome backdrop is really quite striking – and that’s just going off the back of the images and short trailer video. Aside from gallery work, a recent record on Audiobulb has served to introduce the detailed sound environments that this artist creates. Wide Grey provides a further expression of this, through 9 carefully adorned works.
The record opens with the presumably Icelandic-titled harmonics and metallic scrapes of Iðavöllr, which give way to the sound of lightweight items blowing in the wind, as the ringing hum and haunting suspense unfold.
Anyone who has stuck around in the modern Ambient or avant garden scenes will start to have names such as Svarte Greiner or Philippe Pettit pop into their head. It is the carefully constructed tension and unease that recalls the former’s ‘Knive‘ in particular – I remember the first time I listened, at night and feeling particularly petrified! Doroszenko’s work however is perhaps only a nod to this, as the sheer level of detail unravels over the tracks. There is an intelligent arrangement of sound that is nothing short of spectacular – whilst the hint of Ambient drone texture that opens ‘Vague Obtrusion‘ begins as ‘ignorable as it is interesting’, Eno’s blueprint is discarded by Doroszenko as the sonic journey continues. And it is a journey; Footsteps crunching against the ice give the listener the sense of a walk around deserted land. The Ambient tones return, before disintegrating into a digital melt down as something strange appears to happen. It feels as if attempts to communicate are failing and as with all good horror films, a period of slight respite follows as a piano attempts to play a familiar, yet discordant tune.
The silence between tracks feels essential if only for a moment, before a more frantic piano playing ensues in ‘Stream’. It feels as if the foreboding paths Doroszenko has shown us so far in the opening sections of the album have us running away, searching for the open fields as we seek some kind of solace. ‘Stream‘ is a particularly beautiful moment, stronger when experienced as part of the overall playlist.
‘Glue‘ is the next piece, opening with atmospheric noises and large creaking metal gates slamming shut. It feels as if after running through fields in fear, we have found a safe haven inside some kind of isolated industrial warehouse. After some reflection, the sounds of clocks, some clever tempo manipulation and some more positive Ambient tone, we are realising that locking ourselves away is not the answer; there’s a world out there and the fears and turmoil can perhaps be beaten? The 10 seconds of calm at the end all but affirm this.
Next, we have the beautiful ‘Be Right Back‘, an emotional piano-led interlude. Is it the night as we sit slumped inside the warehouse, trying to get some sleep before emerging from those huge metal gates in the morning? The melancholy tone serves as both a lullaby and a means to portray doubt as questions begin to fill the mind under a cloak of darkness.
‘Alvik‘ sees the return of footsteps as we set off early the next morning. The sun has hardly broken to begin with as we start to make tracks. A cold darkness covers the fields as we stride wearily towards the light. Doroszenko provides a generous portion of silence as morning breaks and the light of day is upon us. ‘Achromatic Component‘ begins with the sounds of our footsteps only. Tones swirl in reverse as we retrace our steps to face the world again. The whir of machinery returns as we begin to return to familiar territory.
As usual, the CD version of this release has sold out at source but it can still be streamed or purchased digitally by hitting play above, or clicking HERE