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Borut KRZISNIK (b. 1961) Currents of Time
101 Merry Metronomes [2:36]
The Play of the Puppets [6:12]
The Bird No. 3 [1:28]
Break to Build (Build to Break) [6:41]
Going Down [3:50]
La Dolce Vita [2:25]
Hun's Party [3:57]
It Comes to the Same Thing [2:49]
The Bird No. 1 [2:51]
The Bird No. 2 [0:40]
Johnny in the Funeral Procession [2:50]
Dance for Dimije and Bare Feet [2:41]
Mario Marolt (saxophone); Nino De Gleria (bass); Hugo Sekoranja (piano); Mire Lovric (voice); Borut Krzisnik (guitar, piano, sampler, rhythm machine, tape, noise); Anton Kovac (bass, rhythm machine)
rec. July-August 1990, P.N. Studios, Ljubljana, Slovenia CLAUDIO RECORDS CC6011-2 [48:02]
This is one of those defiantly genre-bending albums which doesn’t belong in ‘classical’, nor does it answer to the category ‘jazz’, and most certainly not to ‘pop’, although there are elements of all these in Slovenian composer Borut Krzisnik’s vision. By way of orientating myself I’ve had a listen to some of Krzisnik’s other records, such as Lightening and Sacre Du Temps, and with his wide variety of collaborations and activity with film music and dance, I’ve opted for ‘classical/ contemporary/experimental’ as a way of filing Currents of Time, but many of the references will be far beyond those of the usual. This is, by the way a re-release of a recording which first appeared in 1991 via ReR Megacorp in its ‘Points East’ edition.
With no booklet notes we’re left to the music in its pure form. There are some grungy moments and rock-music derived distortion sounds, but I admire the light touch with which Krzisnik applies his influences. Take a track such as Going Down, which has unmistakably heavy metal sonics but floats for a good part on what sound more like folk-music dance rhythms. If you like the quirky attitude of a group like The Residents then you’ll probably like what you hear on this album. The bass-in-octaves opening to The Play of the Puppets is perhaps the most direct aural fingerprint from this influence, but the little samples and rhythmic patterns which pop up throughout all serve as reminders.
Numbers titled The Bird are solos for sax reed, skilful birdcall cadenzas with overtones of human emotion. Hey plays on hopping rhythms and a tangle of guitar strings, developing into a cinematic sleaze groove. Break to Build (Build to Break) has melancholy mis-tuned string sounds over a minimalist ostinato, turning into a heavy anti-waltz and dispersing into a theatrical layering of samples from pop and musicals and a delightfully dirty sax solo. La Dolce Vita is fuelled by a manic up-tempo oompah-like the soundtrack for the Rabbids Invasion video game, which of course this predates by a considerable margin. Hun’s Party has a suitably dark mood and teutonic references in its opening and conclusion, though you will also hear the voice of John Cleese emerging at one point. It Comes to the Same Thing works up a swing beat over a bass pattern which becomes overlaid in a sort of canon. Discipline reminds me of Sparks with its synth strings and echo, a sound which, after a syncopated intermezzo, drops into a cheesy faux-ballroom show-dance sequence, the final minutes adding some Tom Waits grit with scraped bass and piano string. Johnny in the Funeral Procession opens with a meandering piano solo, and closes with a suitably heavy slow march. The closing track has a superb rhythmic dance, though for us flautists using a keyboard to play a flute part will never cut the mustard.
Borut Krzisnik is most certainly an artist worth becoming acquainted with, and I’m glad I was sent this as a random ‘see what you can make of it’ sample from MWI head office. Once again, you'll find as much folk/pop/rock in this mixture as anything else so don’t say you haven't been warned, but as far as I’m concerned the more important consideration is one of quality. Krzisnik is clearly one of the good guys, and I’m happy to add my name to his list of fans.