Band Website: www.lebowski.pl
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2010
There’s one thing we can all agree on…Progressive Rock comes in all shapes and sizes. And as I listen to the music created by Polish bandLebowski on their CD Cinematics, I marvel at what they’ve come up with. Its part symphonic, part ambient, part improvised, part mainstream…put it all together and you have music to watch movies by, hence the title. Lebowski was formed in 2002 and is made up of Marcin Grzegorczyk (guitars), Marcin Tuczaj (keyboards), Marek Zak (bass) and Krzysztof Pakula (drums). Now when I make a reference to movie music you might be thinking music that goes nowhere…but that’s not Lebowski’s style. Rather, they take a mood or an imaginary scene give it a title like “Human Error” [7:58] and build on that sound idea. It’s quite intriguing!
Cinematics features ten tracks that are mostly instrumental although you do get some Polish spoken word segments here and there or vocalizations, but no lyrics per se. Each of the tracks are in the six to seven minute range and feature such mysterious titles as “Trip to Doha” [5:40] or “Aperitif for Breakfast” [6:06] or my favorite “Old British Spy Movie” [5:10]. Don’t be fooled into thinking these are compositions without any bite, in many cases it’s just the opposite. Think of mixing Djam Karet with The Alan Parsons Project and you’ll have some idea of the music crafted here. It’s rhythmic, it’s melodic and yet it’s also quite complex in terms of arrangements and instrumentation. One minute it’ll be nice and smooth, then it can change to something almost jazzy and to something with an aggressive guitar line but in the end it all flows so smoothly. Lebowski build layer upon layer of texture in each tune and by doing that they go in some unexpected places. The music has a very exotic, eastern European feel not so much in compositional structure but mostly in terms of the instruments and sounds used.
Lebowski have been around for a while and it really shows in their musicianship and compositional skills. These guys are tight. I found myself coming back to listen to Cinematics over and over again. There’s so much great music stuffed into these 10 tracks it never gets boring. It’s the kind of CD you never get tired of listening to and that’s a real accomplishment. Great stuff.