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Sunday, 18 October 2020

'Kwiatostan' by Błoto


Under the guise of Błoto, the spin-off project of EABS incredibly return with their second album release this year entitled 'Kwiatostan'.


With 'Erozje' only having been released through eclectic jazz label, Astigmatic Records, in April 2020, Błoto - the quartet comprised of EABS members - make an extraordinary return with their sophomore album release recorded in the midst of the year the world would rather forget.  In times of face masks, social distancing, quarantines and curfews, the world finds itself struggling to get back on its feet and while the arts and music have suffered tremendously, 'Kwiatostan' stands tall as a project born of these unparalleled circumstances.


The Polish jazz septet, EABS, have become fairly adept at delivering a unique and inspired approach to their music, whether it rest in their 2017 debut paying tribute to Polish film music composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda; or their subsequent 2019 sophomore release, 'Slavic Spirits', which saw them seek inspiration from the 1970s jazz-rock-electronic fusion period of Czeslaw Niemen's music, merging that with themes of Slavic Melancholia, mythology and Polish demonology.  In Marvel terms, we can regard Błoto as an extension of the EABS Universe and as more than worthy flag wavers for their own vision of contemporary jazz.


Recorded over the course of three days in Warsaw's Jassmine Club and comprised of EABS members themselves under new guises including Latarnik (piano/synthesizers), Wuja HZG (bass), Cancer G (drums) and Książę Saxonii (sax), 'Kwiatostan' endorses a notable change in influences for the quartet.  While their affection for 90's era hip-hop still soars throughout - even going as far as to feature Def Pressé recording artist and rapper Toni Sauna on the track 'Hortensja' - musically there are shifts towards more dance and house styled genres that are genuinely inspired in their approach.  


Maintaining that theme of the songs flowing into each other which, for 'Erozje' worked as something of a tribute to those 90's era hip-hop mixtapes; here, that same technique works on an entirely different level with shifting themes and moods throughout the 'Kwiatostan' experience.  Songs like 'Rumianek', 'Milecz' and the seven-minute 'Jaśmin' are so much more expansive within their soundscapes which is in startling contrast to the circumstances the music has actually been created in.  Maybe it was created in irony or perhaps the music represents that desire for the freedoms so many of us took for granted merely six months ago.


'Kwiatostan' marks another resounding success for Błoto and while listeners will no doubt crave album #3, let's all just that it will be an album created in a safer and much happier world.

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