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On The Road Jacek Sienkiewicz (Cocoon Recordings)

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Hectic times require adequate measures. Shorten the text message, shorten any URL, filter a newsfeed to make a broadband broader – in any way, take a shortcut wherever you intend to go. While the world is struggling for convenience, those who chose the road less travelled will soon become – or already are? – outsiders.

In many ways this is the case of Jacek Sienkiewicz – with over 30 releases behind, and over a decade of running his own label, he persistently followed his very own path, creating music that very soon began to be impossible to define. Friendly, but not fraternizing with everyone and his family, modest, but stubborn only in a positive way, Jacek is an individual with clear, personal vision and an unorthodox approach to music – light years away from the hectic, utilitarian ethos of club-derived electronic beats.

And this story finally took shape – at the same time rock solid and otherworldly ethereal – in the form of “On the Road”, without any doubt one of the few rare records, this complex and challenging, to be derived in recent years from the music formerly known as techno. This album successfully attempts to embrace virtually all aspects of modern electronic music – from rave-like club bangers, through Detroitish passion and deep house-like style, towards ambient soundscapes that are Mariana Trench deep. Although “Departure” and “Arrival” are clearly marked, in fact this is a journey without a beginning or end, an endless peregrination in search of the lost chords, primal rhythms and melodies coming supposedly from another world.

“On the Road” is also another collaboration with Cocoon – starting with “Téchnè”, through the memorable “Displaced”, the cycle is now completed with one of the most experimental albums to appear on Sven Väth’s label to date. This record is not easy and is definitely demanding attention – but it’s also rewarding like no other.

“On the Road” encapsulates Jacek’s journey to date – and is by no means its closing chapter. Quite the contrary – it’s a blueprint for an even more advanced attempt to create a truly timeless piece of art without denying its obvious, energetic and joyful roots. This is proper music – full of energy, life, impossibly complex yet light as a feather, dense, thought-provoking and playful at the same time. Balancing between dirty noises and angelic melodies it is still moving and at times simply breath-taking. From the opening drone, in a second turned into a whirlwind of sounds and noises, via robotic fanfares for the common traveller and muscular bass-driven anthems for still non-existent dancefloors, towards ambient-like bliss – we hear mature, totally original musician, an artist with the one and only approach to a sound that is both perfectly clear – and amazingly multi-layered.

“On the Road” took several years to complete – but as a whole, for the keen listener will surely bring years of amusement, as new sounds, voices and brilliantly clever arrangement patterns are revealed with each new listen. It’s not Detroit nor Santiago, not Sheffield nor Berlin, it’s not even the sound of Jacek’s home town of Warsaw – this is the real music of the spheres.

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