Estrada Studio is a Polish magazine covering Electronic Music & Recording. During the Alfa Centauri years, Artur Lasoń, one of the reviewers for this magazine, showed to be an loyal fan of our events and outings. Artur visited the 9th Alfa Centauri Festival and wrote a review in the Moogazyn columns of Estrada Studio, issue May – 2002.

Below you’ll find the scanned pages of this article. Most of you will have difficulties in reading the Polish text, so I scanned and OCR’s the article and (google-)translated it to English. It is not a 100% perfect translation, but you’ll get the picture.

Please note that the copyrights of this article are (c) Estrada Studio and Artur Lasoń.


Not just code electronic and electronic language – a role model for diplomats 

Somehow we have passed each other so far – we, that is subsequent editions taking place every year for eight years in the Netherlands, the Alfa festival Centauri. Less and less attractive to me KLEMDag made me skeptical I was accepting information about art their “little sister” programs; and also the winter and early spring season – chosen by the organizers for a permanent period of organizing the event – it is not favorable / and journeys to his “depressed” homeland tulips, windmills and wooden clogs. Only in recent years have I started to be more sympathetic keep an eye on Eric’s actions Snelders and his fan club team – this was due to: less and less competitive to other festivals, more and more more audience turnout at this event and an increasingly interesting artistic cast. For extra encouragement to visit by me 9th Alfa Centauri, who took the place On March 16 at the ‘t Spant theater in Bussum, near Amsterdam, there was an expedition he organized Kayanis – after all, the first Polish musician to be invited for the currently most prestigious, annual, international festival of electronic music . Bearing in mind the last KLEMDag on which there were less and less electronics, I was pleased to hear about this year’s line-up contractors, which shows that the least electronic will be just … a Kayanis concert; and because I have a fondness for the repertoire this musician creates and perform, I felt that – even in this context – overall it will be interesting. My guesses proved true myself … I’m not saying that everything was good, but I think it’s worth it to make the effort to drive almost one and a half thousand kilometers in one a site for meeting music at top-flight moments and often delivering emotions, which recently less and less often penetrate my heartwarmed one soul.

For the first time I was touched like a child in the first minutes Kayanis concert. It is, however, amazing that I felt so much the presence of Polish music on Alfie. I will not describe him in detail what happened, because every lover of Polish electronics knows what’s going on expect from this artist. The Western public and for it was a surprise that from behind such a recently opened iron curtain band so artistically and technically mature came. However, I believe that it was n’t just surprise that made people ‘s reaction so warm – that forgiven for some technical and acoustic dirt he testified preferably about the impression the Pole made on “Europeans”. From himself I will add that visually – and musically as well – it was more modest than at the premiere in Słupsk and even a little lack of the musicians ‘ expression at stage, especially the choir. I also think it could have been a bit different .. compose ” the arrangement of the pieces, because I had the impression that at some point The climate is “sitting down”. Fortunately, it was a temporary feeling, and ok / ski at the end testified to the fact that probably the audience would have a different opinion. Kayanis inaugurated performances in the main hall, but he does not open / artistic program of the festival.

it all started at noon from the first part of the Aklkaze performance – the second was held over five hours later. Pepijn Courant – Dutch using Japanese a pseudonym meaning Autumn Wind – it is an eternal … amateur. Playing since over a dozen years still the same simple music with elements of the Berlin school; it even does it nicely, but such home-grown “sound sculptors” there is no shortage of them in every tenement house either. No wonder the organizers they gave him only the lobbies of the ‘t Spant theater and two half-hour sets.

Before Kayanis – but in a small room – there will also be an international performance the form of Kubusschnltt. Her concert was announced in folders advertising boomingly and strongly as a revelation of recent months. For somebody, who will stop fifteen years ago at the “Berlin” stop, it is indeed it blew a refreshing breeze. Three guys – Ruud Helj (Netherlands), Jens Peschke (Germany) and Tom Coppens (Belgium) were picking three digital ones wall units of modern apparatus, bringing them out sequences, arpeggios, pads, sometimes even some noises and rare solos . The latter were the domain of the fourth of them – guitarist Andy Bloyce (Great Britain). I admit that he is what I like the most liked – not visually, because I do not like watching “overweight”. He plays modestly, not pushing himself to the foreground, but ” electronically”. Unfortunately, the whole thing – like Akikaze – was amateurish – they were not quite able to be on stage. They often made an impression embarrassed and theirs placed in front of the audience, and the fact that not always the apparatus she did what they wanted. It felt like a rehearsal in the studio to which was inadvertently let in bystanders . That’s sad because Berlin musician alone she was quite pleasant in herself.

Next concert at was German ambientalist brought up on the school of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, Matthias Grassow. Basically it one sentence is enough to make characterize the program his presentation. You have to add that the mood was very but unfortunately only half way – then it started be boring, because the artist will believe /, that the very fact of generating sounds from electronic devices is big enough attraction. His solos – quite sparing from the beginning, but effectively maintaining the mood – they have become an absolute bone, and the monotony of modulated timbre will be achieved / a tak sky-high drone “peaks” that my only need was to see them again descending to a level where my memory still grips the best examples of this direction. I persevered until the end, because in the Grassow final he perked up a bit, and I felt the pulse of his music running through my veins again . I think, that reversing the order of the numbers played would be a better solution than what Germany chose. Soon after leaving the small hall into the corridor, I again stumbled upon music by Pepijn Courant / Akikaze played for an eye / half an hour. listen, but also this time I did not experience particularly strong emotions.

There was nothing else to do but wait for the next program point – for this purpose I went to the main hall. Another German will perform artist, Wolfram Der Spyra; his music fully deserves big stage, however it was not a surprise to me – from CDs I already know some of its possibilities, and on top of that the concert at Alfa Centauri / many elements in common with what Spyra will play / in Berlin, and co was published on the album “Live In” issued as part of three-deck Elevator To Heaven set . The compositions themselves carried them hallmarks of art played on various levels of artistry. It happened so it varies, but I am happy, because most of the time musician moves / moves in areas close to my living needs playing during a concert. A considerable variety of sound and arranging – and to a certain extent and visual – were the phrases played on a device called Bow Chimes (string bells). Put the instrument looks little / a bell – a more miniature structure futuristic construction, with protruding upwards with antennas of different lengths from which the Spyra exhibition / like a Gulliver from a metal house too small for its size his characters – nevertheless long, strong and juicy the sounds were actually extracted from it by force an arched tool that looks primitive bow. Until then , I had a very strong, personal, inner satisfaction that today’s electronics have matured truth that I respect , that music itself in itself, it can constitute a sufficiently large and carrying value, so that there is no need to “drown out” its possible shortcomings moving pictures jumping under the influence of the pulses generated by the graphic computer program. In other words: in some moment I realized that the musicians are doing great they cope with a very modest, because only light visual setting – devoid of triggering elements Nystagmus in listeners and deafness to the charm of music in viewers (just like that – contrary to what you suppose, no I got the associations wrong). It was about to change in a moment. but without even knowing it, without the slightest prejudice I went to the little hall.

I went there even with the expectations of encountering art of the highest flights , as the next hour and a half is scheduled for the vater electronics – an American has lived for over thirty years in Great Britain, David Vorhaus, better known by the pseudonym White Noise. surprised to see the screen spread out behind the musician, on which was. .. the artist himself in a semi-profile approach . The surprise only lasted a moment, after which I realized that this was mainly wells multi-instrumentalist, creating primarily for film and television, has a lot of video materials and graphic programs, with which he is ready at any moment to decorate any physical presentation to him . The second brake of surprise was the memory of a short conversation, which I carried out with the artist right after his arrival at the theater ‘t Spant. David Vorhaus said then that he would play his concert at a special, self-constructed device called Kaleidophon. Quickly taking the scene with my eyes , I understood that the picture on the screen is to better show the instrument. It was after the dawn a simple contraption resembling a large guitar neck, next to which on one end of it there are remains of the driftwood with pickups, a on the other – a triangular head, however , not equipped with strings to strings. Anyway, the Kaleidophon did not have a string, and what resembles it from a distance / oh, there were four special tapes that were the carriers of … programs , on which White Noise plays (?) with his fingers. I will not describe the rules the operation of the instrument, because it is a topic for a separate dissertation; I will stop on the fact that it is a versatile MIDI controller where you can use the several sliders, levers and other such inventions can be changed any parameters available in this standard. Kaleidophon i has a keyboard, the presence of which I only discovered after a concert and a few general items, it was basically all there was to it Vorhaus will equip its – in appearance modest – laboratory; will play / on it , however, a thrilling concert composed entirely of material / from his the last solo album entitled “Sound Mind”. Music masterpiece; a combination of everything that is fashionable and not fashionable at the moment; breathtaking artistic hurricane ; _ striking with precision the execution of a creative process, steered by a cyborg in the human shell. After a few minutes , the image on the screen, understandably, began take on more and more artistic forms – after all , it is difficult without getting tired Keep showing the guy with the board in his hands all the time. First the figure of the musician began to change colors, and then more and more to Artistic compositions joined other graphic ideas available thanks to computer science. Mark Jenkins supervised the entire visual setting , head of the English label AMP Records, which has been a long – standing patron actions of White Noise and it must be admitted that it does / it with such a feeling, that even I – a skeptic about moving pictures – I bow my head to him in appreciation. For me , the festival at the moment it could be over .. David Vorhaus, however – because of the modest approach to the matter of striving for fame – is not the star of the first size, for the climax of the event, it was still necessary wait for a while .

The festival will end with Larry Fast – or as he does Will: Synergy. This is a character that needs no introduction to anyone really interested in world electronics. The American is from 75 over 25 years present on the music scene and though his phonographic output is much more modest than the giants of the genre, it was his artistry that had the opportunity to appreciate – by working with him – such musicians as e.g. Peter Gabriel. In Bussum, the artist presented / very varied the repertoire from different periods of it activities. Regardless of the stylistic range and atmospheric flow from the stage above all the structures that I associate with their pressure and early modernism. From from time to time they sounded in the arrangements echoes of the American version of minimal music, but never got to the fore . On the stubbornness of this in the invoices several numbers could be look for elements of ambient or even Berlin -Berlin sequencing, but actually Larry Fast is just playing his music; he was doing it at the one with such verve , showing off in total ease to play the virtuosity of keyboards with simultaneous great efficiency in handling electronic devices, that the standing ovation and encores were natural consequence at the end of his concert here. In fact, only late hour will make / a that the audience will let the musician off the stage after the first encore. All that was left for our team was to do an inventory of the whole day and get going on the way back to the homeland. We came back “with the shield” – he will confirm / is the aforementioned inventory, which showed that Kayanis would! this artist performing at the ninth Alfa Centauri, which after his concert sells / .. the largest number of CDs. Success? Sure … whatever I would not bask in it excessively, forgetting about God’s world, because you have to realize that before March 6 in the West few people knew that someone like Kayanis even existed , and these who knew his music could be counted “on the fingers of one hand”,   while other festival guests had the opportunity to reach and to awareness of local fans, and thus to their shelves with crops plates. Nevertheless, the fact remains that our compatriot showed that Polish artists can do more than the West has possibly previously suspected. Perhaps that is how our integration negotiators took an example from Kayanis with the European Union – saving yourself at the same time rubbing your knees as a result of staying in the urgent position for too long . We really are we have a lot to offer.

Artur Lasoń  

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