Friday, January 14, 2011

Out of the Boxx

Halfway through the last decade, Wroclaw, Poland produced one of the most interesting acts on an already interesting label when Ninja Tune released the self-titled album from electronic duo Skalpel (and followed it up with their sophomore release Konfusion). Blending the jazz traditions of Poland (which had a strong underground scene during the Soviet occupation of the country) with contemporary electronic sounds, Skalpel produced music that was at once familiar to fans of jazzy downtempo music, but with a distinct flavour that set it apart. The duo dropped off the map since then, but Igor Pudlo has resurfaced under the moniker Igor Boxx and his debut album, Breslau, is the first Ninja Tune release of 2011.

Breslau isn't a big step away from Skalpel and Konfusion, but seems to come from a darker place at times. "Festung" to take one example, has a foreboding tone with its thundering bass and skittery drums. "Fear Of A Red Planet," which follows "Festung" seems considerably lighter in comparison, but still sounds like the music in a chase scene from the POV of the pursued and not the pursuer - it's vaguely sinister and unnerving. Boxx dabbles in funkier tones on "Street Fighting" and "Last Party In Breslau," but even at his most exuberant, there are vague overtones of menace (which may well be an echo of Poland under Russian control). None of this is to say Breslau is not also an enjoyable listen.

Here's the video for "Last Party In Breslau"

Check out album closer "Downfall" below.

Find more artists like Igor Boxx at Myspace Music

Be sure to check out Igor Boxx's Myspace page and artist page on Ninja Tune.

No comments: