Lonker See

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Split Image (2016), 7.5/10
One Eye Sees Red (2018), 7.5/10
Hamza (2020), 6/10
Duets (2020), 5/10

Lonker See, formed by guitarist Bartos Boro Borowski and bassist Joanna Kucharska, added veteran jazz saxophonist Tomasz Gadecki, who had already released several albums notably the improvised baritone-sax duets of Melt (Not Two, 2013) with Paulina Owczarek (a duo named Sambar). Lonker See's debut Split Image (2016) contains the martial and hypnotic Claimed By The Forest (7:01) and the lively quasi-country dance of Flight Is Open On The Way Out (6:13); but their real skills emerge in the Split Image pt 1 2 & 3 (21:42): a few minutes of abstract instrumental noise before the Led Zeppelin-ian guitar unleashes the psychedelic theme over slow Indian-esque drums, and, after 13 minutes the sax takes over with fragmented chatter over an irregular tribal rhythm before the final crescendo of chaos. Solaris pt 1 & 2 (13:57) is the first half of a suite inspired by Andrej Tarkovsky's film: a suspenseful soundscape of free-form and droning sounds.

One Eye Sees Red (2018) contains two lengthy pieces that turned them into a sort of Polish version of the Necks, specialized in lengthy hypnotic instrumental jams, with the Lillian Gish (18:16) begins like a very soft and slow raga-like jam that turns jazzy when the drums enter, but the sax and bass repeat the same motif, somnolent and hypnotic, until the music takes off in a cosmic direction, with loud distortions and rhythmic tension. Lonker See play the post-ambient version of prog-rock, and Lillian Gish sounds like a post-ambient version of Colosseum's Valentyne Suite. Solaris Pt. 3 & 4 (17:04) is instead a long and dreamy psychedelic trip, but after ten minutes a more rhythmic and aggressive posture takes over with the sax intoning increasingly energetic motifs. It's like a fusion of the Grateful Dead's Dark Star, Pink Floyd's Learning to Fly and Caravan's Nine Feet Underground.

Hamza (2020) injected more vigor in their fusion of acid-rock and jazz-rock of the 1970s. The nine-minute Put Me Out is a slow post-rock crescendo that turns violent at the end, but the whole is fairly trivial. The eight-minute Gdynia 80 is a better synthesis of stomping space-rock, cerebral prog-rock and heavy stoner-rock, as if Can and Queens Of The Stone Age jammed together, and even ends with the sax intoning a folk-ish refrain. The sax dominates the nine-minute Earth Is Flat, propelled by a strong Brazilian-infected rhythm. Joanna Kucharska sings the simple elegy Infinite Garden and leads the lethargic eight-minute Hamza, but those are the weakest songs. She also leads the nine-minute Open & Close, whose development is more interesting and energetic than those two but still somewhat weak. The album is a mixed bag and almost sounds like the album of a different band, certainly more rock and less psychedelic.

Duets (2020), originally recorded in 2017, is an album of improvised duets.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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