Accomplice Affair - Act of Creation... [the Eastern Front - 2007]CD-R technology has undoubtedly made it much easier for indepent musicians to offer to their music to the public. It offers possibilities for instant gratification and spontaniety, since the music can be released almost immediately after it's recorded.
Like the cassette movement which occurred during the post-punk era in the early Eighties, the medium is cheap to produce. Musicians who otherwise would be forced to depend on a record label to put something out can now do practically everything right out of their home.
The cassette movement eventually crumbled under its own weight as a result of over-saturation. The initially exciting concept was burdened by the sheer number of releases. Much of the music was made by amateurs, indeed the appeal in the beginning. But not all amateurs are created equal, and after multitudes of releases by less creative amateurs trying to emulate the originators, the torrent of cassettes became indistinguishable. Let's hope that CD-R's don't follow the same trajectory.
Act of Creation... is a CD-R released in an addition of 100 copies by the Eastern Front label out of Israel. Accomplice Affair is Przemyslaw Rychlik of Poland. This is an album which seems unsure what it wants to be. There are some elements of Goth in the vocals, there are some elements of prog instrumentation, and some stabs at ambient music. The production throughout is consistently second rate. Admittedly lo-fi production can add an ambience to some recordings, but in this case the sound is just plain muddy.
The fact that there are so many styles represented isn't the biggest problem with Act of Creation... it's the lack of focus. For instance, the first track, Pomiedzy mgla begins with some relatively intriguing, if poorly recorded, dark ambient sounds. Then "scary" reverb vocals come in, which are so out of place that any promise delivered by the music is erased in an instant. The rest of the CD-R doesn't fare much better. The songs fail to engage because they are mostly repetive and uninspired. Repetition in and of itself is of course no reason to criticize music harshly, but in this case the lackluster performances just lead to tedium. Erwin Michelfelder