Scott Morrow is ALARM’s music editor. Patrick Hajduch is a very important lawyer. Each week they debate the merits of a different album.
Jacaszek: Glimmer (Ghostly International, 12/6/11)
Jacaszek: “Dare-gale”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Jacaszek_Dare-gale.mp3|titles=Jacaszek: “Dare-gale”]
Hajduch: I first heard Polish composer Michał Jacaszek when his music shuffled onto my headphones at an ungodly early hour while walking through a very crowded airport, and it was all at once calming and perfectly fitting. Jacaszek’s compositions make moody, atmospheric ambience using a classical palette, with bowed strings, operatic voices, and chimes to construct a brooding build.
His new album, Glimmer, is his first for Ghostly International, whose ambient compilation SMM: Context featured Jacaszek alongside like-minded modern/gloom/ambient merchant (and MvsH alumnus) The Fun Years, among others.
Morrow: Though this might be misclassified as an electronic album — partly due to its affiliation with Ghostly — it’s almost entirely an ambient classical release. There’s enough digital treatment and rearrangement to warrant a partial electronic tag, but it’s otherwise a very organic album. Jacaszek wrote and recorded the acoustic-guitar and mellotron passages, and then he enlisted a number of other Polish musicians to play the harpsichord and clarinet parts. It’s all a very stirring mix, with the harpsichord, bass clarinet, guitar, and vibraphone — not to mention the washes of fuzz — creating a richness of texture.