Szymon Kaliski | Out of Forgetting

 Cat: AB044
 Time: March 2013
 Media: Digital Download

 Info: Out Of Forgetting is retrospection of somehow 
 destroyed memories, smallest pieces of sound and 
 pictures. Crafted between carefully planning and 
 most aimless improvisations, these tracks are filled 
 with melancholy and cracks, imperfect, as stories 
 they tell.

 Artist site:

 PDF Press Release: Download

 01. A Point To
02. As Unimportant
03. Or Delicate
04. Of Decay
05. In Twelve Scenes
06. For Patterns
07. To Specific Place --. A Point To (Fjordne Remix)
REVIEWS | Out of Forgetting

 Goddamn, I wish I heard Out Of Forgetting last year. Not just for my Top 10 list or anything, I just mean it’s been 
 out since July and it’s a fucking tragedy that a half year has gone by while this drone magnifique sat on the 
 sidelines waiting to be devoured by me. That is 6 months of my life wasted. 

 Szymon Kaliski is an incredible soundcrafter from Poland. I normally shy away from the name dropping comparison
 thing, but Kaliski totally deserves this one. He takes pieces from all the greats, lots of vintage Jeckian crackle, 
 subtle glitches like Hecker, some Basinski melancholy, and Deupree style processed minimalism, all while not 
 sounding too much like any one of them. 

 The textures & tones on this record are unbelievably deep, frozen blue drones stacked with fluttering glitched 
 piano like flurries in the drift, the most delicate static slowly sifting through ice cracks, smooth white sheets of 
 bliss warped with warmth, dusty resonance topped in timeless grit. The sounds are pure, they’re beautiful, and 
 everything about them is a subtle affirmation of what contemporary drone is all about. This is what the rest 
 should be striving for. 

 Out Of Forgetting is only a half hour long, but that means it’s not bloated with excess or 20 minute meditation 
 exercises. Kaliski didn’t overdo it, but he also didn’t wimp out and drop an EP, he trimmed out the fat and made 
 every second count, resulting in a record of precisely the proper length. If he never released another album, 
 he would still make it into my all time list of top droners. Forgetting is unwaveringly unforgettable (sorry) and 
 absolutely stunning.

 I'm wearing out my ambient descriptors… this year has just been so incredibly consistent and unrelenting within 
 this style of music, I just don't know how many more times I can use the word "swathe" or "drone." In fact, I think
 I've actually listened to and reviewed so much ambient music, I've maybe fallen into the trap of losing sight of its 
 function: Have a quiet moment. Allow the music to fill that quiet. Allow the music to take you somewhere. Relax. 
 Focus your mind. Have a sip of coffee. Close your eyes. Breathe…

 As a matter of turn, the young Polish composer Szymon Kaliski has done a lot of this work for you up front. The
 cover on the record shows a single cup of Joe and an unlit cigarette, just waiting for you to have a session with
 its humbling beauty. Kaliski weaves together wavering, breathing long tones with subtly plunked piano keys into
 seven steadied, tempered, and patient works that remain short enough to resist trying your own patience. In fact, 
 sometimes the pieces don't feel long enough as the mix is quickly stifled with not-so-subtle turns of the volume 
 knob, almost showing Kaliski's cards. But the substance between the opening moments of each track and their 
 final evaporations ebbs and flows very nicely, thrumming with gentle volume and stereo shifts to give your brain 
 a relaxing massage. And Kaliski's approach to form is refreshing, too—a track like "In Twelve Scenes" comes as 
 an especially unique treat with a plucked string that measures the piece out among spoken world samples that 
 sound lifted from an old film, almost aggressively emphasizing the notion of time that many ambient artists 
 purposefully disguise or negate. 

 The entire album is laced with small micro-pops that can have the undesired effect of distracting you from the 
 listening space Kaliski's worked so diligently to present. I'm not sure if this was intentionally done as part of his 
 own method, or if it's a limitation of the material conditions of creating the music. On the one hand, it gives the 
 music a cracked quality, drying the sound out as smoldering charcoals at the base of a bonfire. On the other 
 hand, I desperately want the music as a whole to be as smooth, wet and lush as the gorgeous tones beneath 
 it all. Still, Kaliski's got exactly the right ideas here, letting representations of memories come out fractured and 
 broken, and his well-rounded style definitely places him among some of the genre's heaviest hitters. "As 
 Unimportant" is a near dead-ringer for Tim Hecker's earlier material, conjuring a wealth of varied electronically 
 generated tones and working them into breath-taking swoops that travel by like wind atop a high green pasture. 
 And the piano strokes, that really stick out like a sore thumb (in a great way, by the way), keep the music 
 grounded and accessible. Not much is known about this young fellow yet, but you can check out this and 
 more by visiting his Soundcloud page, and it appears the record is readily available. If Out of Forgetting tells us
 anything, it's that Kaliski's on the brink of making a serious name for himself in the rapidly growing world of 
 ambient composers.

 Hailing from a small town which neighbours Poznan, Poland, Szymon Kaliski works with acoustic instruments and 
 field recordings to give rise to his vision of minimalist music with audio which is imperfect by design… Out of 
 Forgetting begins with a poignant piano track, slow-paced and deliberate. The phrases and melodies are perfectly 
 timed, every note is of paramount importance. Crackle and static are used tastefully and add texture to the 
 recordings. Consecutive numbers follow a similar pattern, evolving and exploring with a loose style which 
 meanders gently, compelling the listeners rapt attention. Drones, piano and snatches of field recordings take turns
 in leading each piece. Meticulously crafted over long winter nights, Out of Forgetting feels intimate and forlorn. 
 Though he wears his influences on his sleeve, Kaliski proves to be a talented composer who’s work can stand 
 alongside other contemporary artists of the genre such as Library Tapes and Machinefabriek, whom he echos in 
 style. The refrains performed are minimalist, sometimes to the point of simplicity but Kaliski possesses that rare 
 touch of being able to make what may be humble parts if unaccompanied add up to a complex and moving whole. 
 There’s a feeling of restrained passion, each note holds a weight behind it and when snippets of conversation 
 and field recordings take centre stage, it sounds natural and unhurried, not just on afterthought. A promising solo 
 debut, Kaliski has emerged onto the experimental music scene and one gets the sense that he will be around for
 some time to come. – Review by Adam Williams

 Imperfect by design. That’s what Out of Forgetting is. Linking his spoilt poesis to a theme of ‘destroyed memories’, 
 Szymon Kaliski composes by blending ‘badly played’ (his words) instruments and field recordings in pieces 
 providing for both planned and improvised musical gestures. The young man from Poznań brings to his debut - 
 on Audiobulb man David Newman’s digital-only label, Audiomoves – a kind of homespun Mitteleuropa take on 
 12k-style post-digital electro-acoustic minimalism, cloaked in crackle and sad wisps of piano pathos.

 In seven brief well-tempered works woven of tremulous tones, respiring sustains, and piano plonk, this minimal 
 mover of sound captures and releases his timbres, gently maltreated, commingling aleatory forays into 
 introspective vignettes. Although minimalist in spirit, Out Of Forgetting does not want for sonorities, with various 
 ebb and flow undercurrents in dark waters, gently thrumming, micro-pocked and crisped with crackle like a 
 softly smouldering fire, and various fractured sound tokens of memory slippage. The monochrome cover shot 
 of a cup, ashtray and unlit cigarette, with lugubrious titles compound a certain just-so flatness of musical 
 habitus; motifs are almost deliberately simplistic, as if wanting to be honest and eschew all pretentious conceit. 
 There’s a feeling of restraint and withholding, as if each gesture carried a small cargo of repressed emotion 
 behind them. 

 "A point to" emerges in a field of static and a lugubrious two-chord piano motif, that gets increasingly (ill-)
 treated, somewhat in the style of Matthew Cooper/Eluvium’s Concert Silence. "As Unimportant" brings forth 
 swathes of tone colours and choreographs them into arcs and dives with maybe a ghostly familiar of early Tim 
 Hecker attending. "Or Delicate" has piano droplets falling in a fog of drones in a sad simple sequence that, 
 Basinski-esque, finds fellow-feeling between abstraction and intimacy.

 "Of Decay" is initially so perfectly textured it feels like Stephan Mathieu may have passed close by – that is 
 until some distracted mix-fidgeting comes late in the day to mar the event. "In Twelve Scenes" comes with a 
 reverb-doused plucked string resonance that forms the spine of the piece around which spiral snatches of 
 speech and silence sprinkled with interference. “For Patterns” ruminates over doleful piano bleeding into 
 reverb/delay-doused drones. 

 Though this is Kaliski’s first release, it shows an ability to make modest parts amount to more than their sum, 
 proving himself fit to be filed next to others of a similar stripe. A propos of which, you can find a mix of 
 Szymon-selected tracks at the estimable play my tape.

 Poland’s Szymon Kaliski might wish to choose a more attractive press release next time around. The prospect of 
 “lingering drones from badly played acoustic instruments and field recordings” is unlikely to get fans of ambient 
 music salivating. Yet this is an often inspired release whose wintry charms are ultimately very persuasive. 

 ‘A Point To’ quietly emerges in a field of static and sombre piano and is the perfect scene setter for this subtly 
 unsettling album. Whereas ‘As Unimportant’ is all about the drone and frosty soundscapes, ‘Or Delicate’ revolves 
 around a sad and simple sequence of piano keys. Despite being interspersed with spoken word, ‘In Twelve 
 Scenes’ recalls the languid, reverb heavy guitar work of Yellow6 but it’s the last track – the lengthy ‘To Specific 
 Place’ – which lingers longest in the memory as every shift in note sends a chill down the spine. Static and drone 
 don’t always form the basis for compelling music but Kaliski ensures there’s an undercurrent of dark emotions 
 running through each track. In short, if this is his “badly played” stuff, it would be marvellous to hear him when 
 he’s on form.

 Somehow I managed to miss this debut release on Audiomoves, the digital download offshoot of the Sheffield 
 based Audiobulb label, where there have been a string of excellent releases lately by artists working in the 
 experimental and minimalist music genres using field recorded sounds and sound processing techniques.

 Szymon Kaliski is a young musician producing music from his home near Poznan in Poland. He composes track 
 elements using loops of acoustic material blended with field recordings captured in his local environment and
 mixes the results using Ableton Live and Max4live. He is refreshingly honest about the fact that many tracks 
 result from happy mistakes that produce interesting material (a technique I thoroughly subscribe to :) )

 The album Out of Forgetting was made during the long Winter of 2009 and the quiet reflective time that harsh 
 Winters seem to provide has certainly triggered some excellent soundcrafting from Szymon. Sparse piano 
 chords and notes treated with plenty of spacious reverb and delay are accompanied by trembling background 
 drones and ever so subtle field recorded sounds of people talking, perhaps someone writing on paper, 
 microphone noise and low washes of white noise, wind, or the sea. Many tracks are also accompanied by 
 the now familiar and dreaded vinyl crackle or static noise which I am really not a great fan of, as many of you 
 will know by reading my past reviews. With the exception of the second track, As Unimportant, where the 
 crackle is really quite intrusive, it is fair to say that the technique is mercifully used with care throughout and 
 never really dominates the mix. 

 Overall this album has a gentle melancholy atmosphere conjured up by subtle shifting textures. It is an 
 accomplished debut which manages to find its own place in this crowded genre without pushing the 
 boundaries too far this time round. Szymon clearly has a lot of hidden potential to create something really 
 unique and special in his future releases and I look forward to hearing how his musical output develops over 
 the next year.
 Audiobulb Is an exploratory music label designed to support the work of innovative artists. 

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