Wednesday 10 July 2019

'Slavic Spirits' by EABS

'Slavic Spirits' marks the return of the Polish septet, EABS, on Astigmatic Records and sees them once again wiping the slate clean and reinventing the sound that endeared them to fans the world over.

'Repetitions (Letters to Krzysztof Komeda)' in 2017 introduced listeners to Astigmatic's very own Electro-Acoustic Beat Sessions through their ingenious reworking of compositions by Polish film music composer and pianist, Krzysztof Komeda, who is best known for his film scores for Roman Polanski including 'Rosemary's Baby' (1968).  A year before that however was EABS's free-to-download live compilation entitled 'Puzzle Mixtape' which saw the collective celebrate hip-hop - as they did from the band's inception during live events at the Puzzle Club - through collaborations with Jeru The Damaja and M.E.D. and interpretations of classic records by A Tribe Called Quest and J Dilla.

Work on the Slavic Spirits Suite however began as 'Repetitions' ended and saw the band draw huge inspiration from the 1970s period of Czeslaw Niemen's music.  Niemen was famed as a leading name for Polish singer-songwriters and rock balladeers who, in the 70s, saw a notable change in his output veering towards a jazz-rock-electronic fusion of styles.  But the real themes of 'Slavic Spirits' are rooted within the notion of Slavic Melancholia, mythology and Polish demonology.  UK saxophonist Tenderlonious sees himself inducted into the fold to join the group on their exploration which is a nice extension of their union from 2018's 12" vinyl release 'Kraksa'/'Svantetic' on 22a Records. 

While many would celebrate 'Slavic Spirits' as an incredible jazz record, you do have to wonder if EABS believe their music even fits into what is considered jazz anymore, or if it's simply a springboard to usher in something completely new.  We've previously gushed about EABS's "wonderfully organic, all-inclusive and free-flowing melting pot of styles" and while 'Repetitions' set the bar for their ambitious vision, this year's project raises it once again. 

With great excitement, we look forward to what EABS set their sights on next.

EABS are:
Marek Pędziwiatr: piano, synths, vocals
Vojto Monteur: guitar
Paweł Stachowiak: bass
Jakub Kurek: trumpet
Olaf Węgier: tenor sax
Marcin Rak: drums
Spisek Jednego: turntables

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