Alarm

by Kurws

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    Gusstaff Records

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    Red Wig / Et Mon Cul C'est Du Tofu? / Jacob Records

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about

The actual recordings took place in Wrocław in the attic of Tranzystor studio during the period 3-5 December 2016 with the simultaneous usage of cassette Dictaphone, digital recorder and studio mixing console. Except for maraca and the choir part no overdubs were used. The first track is entirely based on the sample from the very beginning of the track that follows it.

Oskar Carls - saxophone, cowbell
Hubert Kostkiewicz - guitar, tapes, voice
Jakub Majchrzak - bass, tapes, voice
Dawid Andrzej Bargenda - drums, maraca, voice

Special guest: Ewa Głowacka - voice (6)

Recording: Piotr Semiras and Artur Soszyński
Mixing: Jasiek Wroński and the Kurws
Mastering: Piotr Zabrodzki and Jasiek Wroński
Vinyl mastering: Marcin Cichy

Artwork: Stachu Szumski
Cover design: Iwona Jarosz
Photo credit: Maciek Bielawski

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Evolution? Revolution? Devolution? There is no certainty about the vector of Kurws’ music. The way from the debut Dziura w Getcie to Alarm leads from a primitive sophistication to sophisticated primitiveness. It is a comic, from which the bubbles are being wiped out with each subsequent page, making it more abstract for some and a lot more concrete for others. More important than a genre or clear explanations here are the nerve, adventurousness and controlled instability of the line. It is these that complement the rest and create images and notions. Kurws speak little, but they throw the news of the world into the cogs of their machine made of nerves conjoined with instruments. In one gesture they reflect reality, challenge it and dodge.

‘Alarm’ is Kurws wrestling with their limitations. Doing splits in asynchronous performance, in expanding their patience and organising silence. There are escapements with the use of many layers, recording tracks with a tape recorder, taking advantage of tape’s physical imperfections. Kurws train in composition, improvisation and – which is relatively new – in casting spells on coincidence, riskily falling out of structures, evading their own habits. They form, lose and cover their tracks. Can you dance to this material? Of course you can, but it is not going to be either the well-remembered Tanz mit Kommune 1 or a clumsy dance with Colossus on clay legs. This time it is a dance on a volcano.

Pascal Quignard has concluded that there is no sleep for hearing. This is why various devices to wake you up appeal to your ears. Sight can be turned away or covered by eyelids. You cannot switch hearing off, though. Kurws exploit this passivity of the ear to the fullest, yet doing so in defiance of the oppression encoded in the music. They use sonic violence in service for peace. They generate tension which releases and diffuses greater tensions. They are like the madman raving in the street that you listen to only to recognise your own fears, neuroses and frustrations. ‘Alarm’ is an alarming album for alarming times. You need to decide yourselves whether it is a fire alarm, a nuke alarm or no more (and no less) than a common alarm clock.

Karol Paczkowski

credits

released September 29, 2017

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Kurws Wrocław, Poland

ideas not esthetics

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