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(48:59; Kris Gietowski)
Multi-instrumentalist Kris Gietkowski was born in Poland, but for the last twelve years or so he has lived in Horsham in Surrey (strangely enough, just down the road from where I used to live in Dorking). He started his musical career by covering other band’s material, notably Egg, but since then he has been spreading his wings and this is his latest instrumental release, featuring original compositions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his earlier endeavours, this is music which sounds as if it could have come out of the Canterbury scene some fifty years ago, and for this release he has been joined by drummer Jake Naugle while he provides keyboards, bass and guitar. The two longest songs bookend the album, but with only two of the five under nine minutes in length there is plenty of time to get inside the music, which is best listened to on headphones. Kris only started using guitar on his last album, and of all the instruments it is the most restrained in it usage, with the melody often being carried on the bass while the keyboards may be following or extending the themes by playing around the main structure. There is very much the feeling of a group of musicians bouncing ideas off each other in a studio and it never comes across as just two people, which is an achievement in itself. The drum sounds are sometimes a little too “artificial” for my preference, but the playing itself is very good indeed. I first came across Kris with his excellent work on Fruits de Mer, since when I have followed his career with interest, and anyone who enjoys early prog with stacks of atmosphere which never rushes but always moves along at the right place will find plenty here to enjoy.
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