The Upshot: Polish artist summons fond memories of Egg, Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster and… Stereolab!
BY JONATHAN LEVITT
So, the story goes that Fruits de Mer head honcho Keith Jones was one day just surfing YouTube and came across works by Polish musician Kris Gietowski. I can only imagine the sheer joy and excitement that must have coursed through Keith’s veins upon such a unique discovery. Kris happened to have not only recorded his version of British prog band Egg’s first album, but Atomic Rooster’s as well as Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s first records as well. I admit I’m new to all three, although I did look the music up in YouTube to get up to speed. I may have heard a Crazy World of Arthur Brown track many moons ago from his Strangelands LP released on Reckless Records. Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago, I open my mailbox and there’s a package with Kris’ 3 cd’s, I go for a ride and pop in the Egg album and my jaw drops, the music is jazzy, with an almost Jimmy Smith vibe informed with elements of Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements type sonics. Extremely catchy to the point where you feel you’ve known this music a lot longer than the cd’s hour length. I swear I can hear in Kris’ versions some shades of the German band Can.
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown cd I feel is probably the most difficult album that Kris tackles simply for the fact that Arthur Brown’s operatic vocals are missing. It’s my least favorite of the three cd’s because the music feels a tad flat. The Atomic Rooster CD on the other hand is incredible for how closely Kris mimics Vincent Crane’s organ sound. “Before Tomorrow” is a killer workout, and the best case yet to show off Kris’ immense talent. Here he takes the original 5-minute song and condenses it to about half that. Economy without losing any of the grandeur of the original. It’s an audacious move to have covered these three albums just for the pure pleasure of it, and for the most part the results are startling. Kris is a stellar musician whose virtuoso performance beguiles at every turn, and since Fruits de Mer are only pressing up 300 sets you better hop to it!
DOWNLOAD: “The Song of McGillicudie the Pusillanimous” “Movement 4” “Spontaneous Apple Creation” “Before Tomorrow”