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NOR_POL - Constructions [Zoharum - 2020]

Constructions sits somewhere between improv, sparse industrial/ electro texturing, and gloomy mood music- blending both electronics & electro captured organic instrumentation. The release presents its self as eight-track/ forty two minute CD that’s released by respected Polish experimental label Zoharum.

The CD comes presented in brown/grey six-panel gatefold, that on its outside features artwork that is some form of a close-up or modified picture of dense moorland. Apparently, NOR_POL that came about  as a natural effect of long term collaboration between Jorgen Knudesen and £ukasz Sza³ankiewicz aka electro-industrial project Zenial. And Constructions is the projects debut release.

Things start off in a surprising fairly formal & smooth manner with “Durational(Jazz Version)”- which is best described as nearing five minutes of set & pedestrian jazz drumming with a twinkling ethno-ambient backdrop. The tracks pleasant enough but lacks interesting or building detail, and it sonically stands apart from the albums other seven tracks in both its sonic style/ feel.

The rest of the album is way, way more lose & abstract- with the tracks more often than not having a decidedly jam feel. Over the albums length they move from brining together creaking & scuttling electro percussive tones with warbling ‘n’ wondering piano tones. Moving onto modified bell-like drone and choppy electro texturing. Through to denser & noise electro scaping, and slamming/ jarring experimental electronica. The problem is that more often than not the tracks feel half-formed & underdeveloped- sure I can understand the pair are trying to create a loose improv feel, but sadly neither really have the chops to carry off appealing & interesting improvising, instead it just often feels like their just playing around with the set-ups, and worse of all at points it very much feels like ‘what does this do’ type button pressing is going on.

I’m not really sure who Constructions is meant to be appealing to really- as it’s too lose/ abstract for those who enjoy more experimental electronica, and there is not enough skill or rewarding control here to appeal to improv fans.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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