Expanding one’s horizons and discovering new worlds of music is always a great joy. So much exists today that none of us are aware of, and it can be difficult to hear something completely new, especially when we get caught up in genres. Sometimes that “something new” confirms why we enjoy particular genres so much though, and this is one such album. Combining world music that experiments with classical elements is often an interesting musical path. India Czajkowska and Sebastian Madejski are certainly talented individuals, but talent alone does not always equate to a captivating album.
To begin with, let’s start with the dominant aspect of this album: the vocals. The range for both of these artists is exceptionally wide, mixing ethereal female vocals that are evocative of heavenly voices craze of the 90s with operatic male baritone vocals. “Kan Di Kam” features a strange sound akin to a child’s instrument that sounds like a quirky attempt at obtaining some sort of mystical atmosphere. Instead, it simply comes off as strange, and not in an intriguing way. In fact, if anything, this approach overshadows anything else in the track that would have otherwise been appealing. Strange sounds that perhaps conjure memories of Björk are emitted, and other unpleasant sounds and vocals are used that are more odd than eccentric.
Madejski is an incredibly talented vocalist, with a range that fluctuates from an impressive tenor to the aforementioned low baritone. Surveying some of Czajkowska’s work also leaves me impressed, more so for her performance art and Butoh than the music itself. Somewhere along the way, however, they seem to have forgotten their senses and start resorting to behaviors that do not come off as creative, but simply unfitting and even at times quite irritating.
It takes repeated listens, but in time I can begin to see the beauty in Tańce Snu. I simply think some of the attempts at creativity within it did not translate quite as well as the duo may have envisioned. “Sirhe Noria” contains the enough atmosphere to heighten the other tracks around it, yet elements like rapid spoken word do not complement it, nor do the squeaky vocals that pierce through it. Weird may work for Klaus Kinski and many others, but not it just doesn’t fit in this case. I can understand the appeal for those in the world of performance art, whose foundation is often eccentricity and experimentation. Some moments exemplify this and can be quite enjoyable, but other ill-advised ideas that simply don’t fit into the context of Tańce Snu are allowed to punctuate its compositions. “Naya Trea Ne” is one such song that, if I were to hear only it, I would be interested in checking out the rest of the album. A lot of the instruments used are quite pleasant, and immense talent obviously exists behind the creation of these songs. Instruments from hammer dulcimer to flute are performed well on Tańce Snu, though the album seems to be dominated by synth. It’s unfortunate that the equivalent of gibberish tarnishes so much of this, proving that sometimes being the odd one out literally means just that.
03) Mirtey Truti
04) Kan Di Kam
06) Sirhe Noria
08) Naya Trea Ne
11) Ane Kaliman