Monday 20 June 2022

'2061' by EABS


'2061' marks the new album release from Polish ensemble EABS unveiling their fourth album for the prolific Astigmatic Records.

The last EABS album - the sensational 'Discipline of Sun Ra' - saw the Polish collective take listeners on a spiritual and cosmic journey throughout the cosmos under the wisdom and tutelage of Sun Ra.  And while, as listeners, 'Discipline of Sun Ra' became an album that transported us from the daily hum drum of our earthbound existence towards these inspired new worlds and perspectives throughout each (repeated) listen, it turns out that the place we would visit through our headphones was a place that EABS didn't actually return from.

EABS have always worn their hearts on their sleeves - be them drawing from 90s hip-hop or typically immersing themselves within Poland's rich history and culture (as evidenced via their first two albums 'Repetitions (Letters to Krzysztof Komeda)', 2017, and 'Slavic Spirits', 2019) - so it's a testament to their continual far-reaching vision that '2061' can place them even further afield, not just geographically, but through time periods that don't see them paying homage but forging ahead into the unexplored.

Perhaps these phenomenal space explorations have become about sheer escapism though?  Certainly not a collective to allow themselves to be slowed down or hindered by something as mundane as a worldwide pandemic, the years since our world turned upside down have continued to produce some of EABS' best work - as a unified collective, individual efforts or via their spinoff group, Błoto.

The foreboding urgency of 'Global Warming' kicks the album off, further feeding into the nature of our doomed surroundings and it's somewhat harsh, but justifiable, perspective is a theme that continues throughout the album's nine tracks.  Tracks like 'Lucifer (The New Sun)', 'The Mystery of Monolith' and 'Dead Silence' are bleak but phenomenal pieces of music with 'Human Hero' injecting a little hope in humanity before legendary Polish saxophonist Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski guests on the album's closing number - 'A Farewell to Mother Earth' - the track that seals all of our fates.

The fantasy-esque nature of 'Discipline of Sun Ra' makes way for a considerably bleaker perspective of who we are and the decidedly worrying direction our planet is steering towards, from an ecological nature and the general end-of-days events we've experienced over the last few years.  As a four-album run, EABS have carved out a mind-blowing experience - as mentioned previously, from the nostalgic and respectful tributes to Poland's history all the way to this planet's final days so if EABS were to cite this as their final ever album, then what a harrowing but immaculate story that would tell.  But as the infamous words of Jeff Goldblum's Dr Ian Malcolm utter in Jurassic Park (1993), "Life finds a way", which should give us all hope that EABS will resurrect us for their fifth outing.

No comments:

Post a Comment