about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg cd_review_lebowski_cinematic001006.jpg
Once in a while, an album arrives for review that is just, well, special. Amidst a plethora of genericism that plagues a good three quarters of music sent in for scrutiny, the occasional gem shines through the barrage of pastiche-ridden mediocrity that accumulates on my desk. Such moments are to be savoured and celebrated as works as musically sublime as Lebowski's 'Cinematic' are but few and far between. Actually released in 2010, this only landed in my hands a year on via the band's management and, upon my very first listen to the disc, I was blown away by its sonically succulent beauty. So just what exactly am I raving about here you might ask? Well, Lebowski are a Polish four-piece who play some of the most atmospheric, captivating and engrossing progressive music that I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. With 'Cinematic' described as "music to a non-existent movie", this will give you a vague idea what to expect. Apart from occasional sound bites lifted from various movies and a sustained female voice that adorns '137 Sec.', the album is largely instrumental but is one of the most well crafted, engaging instrumental efforts I've heard in a long time. Guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, occasional violin and various samples have been layered into atmospherically rich instrumentations spread over ten cuts of genuine musical progression that are flavoured with some truly enchanting melodies. So alluring is the music that, like me, I'm sure you'll find the 60+ minutes playing time seems to pass by relatively quickly as it's easy to become absorbed in Lebowski's laid-back prog-dynamic. For a similar vibe and atmosphere, their fellow countrymen Riverside are perhaps an apt point of comparison - that is, Riverside's more mid/down-tempo and less heavy moments - but Lebowski are a different beast altogether. To make an instrumental album that sustains interest and attention as much as 'Cinematic' is no easy feat but the Poles certainly know to achieve such an effect through their diverse range of sonics and general song structures. Marcin Grzegorczyk's various guitar sounds are mightily impressive throughout the album, the tonality of his distorted leads comparable in places to Piotr Grudzinski from the aforementioned Riverside. Marcin Luczaj's synth sounds are refreshingly stunning through the diversity of their application, with sounds ranging from Moog, Hammond, piano etc. Marek Zak and Krzysztof Pakula's on bass and drums respectively also turn in solid performances with Zak occasionally shining through such as with his fretless bass work on 'The Storyteller (Svensson)'. The CD itself is housed in attractive digipak packaging that is so well-designed and professional, it made me look twice at the "self-released" status of the album. Yes, it is self-released though surely some sort of record deal is imminent for this bunch of talented Poles. Absolutely incredible and very much recommended.
Review by Mark Holmes
1) Trip to Doha
2) 137 Sec
3) Cinematic
4) Old British Spy Movie
5) Iceland
6) Encore
7) Aperitif for Breakfast (O.M.R.J.)
8) Spiritual Machine
9) The Storyteller (Svensson)
10) Human Error
"...works as musically sublime as Lebowski's 'Cinematic' are but few and far between."