Contrast I is the latest work from Polish experimental musician Cezary Gapik and comes via White Box Recordings, the first in a trilogy of the artists works to be released by the label…
When first experiencing a work that comprises two tracks, half of which could fairly be described as noise, one cannot help but consider the artist and their intentions, to try and gauge their sincerity. In this case though, the artists intent can be safely assured. With a long history of noise-making, Gapik has an extensive back catalogue of small run releases and CDr’s. Born 1963 in Czestochowa, Poland, Gapik was originally drawn to Punk Rock and Post-Punk while an interest in avant-garde icons such as Morton Feldman also existed alongside his more confrontational tastes. Presumably touched by the 1980′s industrial music scene, the artists bio refers to his music as ‘power electronics’, a term coined by the ever controversial William Bennett of infamous noise legends Whitehouse.
Side A – #0473 (Tremor) contains twenty two minutes of high frequency static and noise, intended to be heard at ear-splitting level, the piece pummels the listener unrelentingly. The track is not without direction though and is host to a few main themes which evolve as the minutes pass, the noise offset with undercurrents of shifting tone to help keep things interesting.
After the white noise fury of the first side, the opening moments of Side B – #0458 (Drowsiness) are an almost deafening silence and this is an effect used well by Gapik. The track is driven by gentle electronic tones which combine to give a cathartic relief to the listener and highlights a more measured dimension of the artist’s music.
Contrast I seems more easily compared to the power electronics bands than artists like Tim Hecker or Fennesz and though this work perhaps never matches Whitehouse in menace, this is probably not Gapik’s aim, the artist instead focusing on providing an all-instrumental aural assault. Put simply, if you’re a fan of the kind of industrial music which brings to mind Sutcliffe Jügend rather than MTV fodder like Marilyn Manson, then Contrast I may well be worth your time.