Nowa Ziemia 2 is the name used for the collaborative music-making of Artur Krychowiak for this album of two duets, one played with Michał Banasik (Tranquilizer), the other alongside Dawid Adrjanczyk of Akpatok. Using guitars as the main instruments, here the trio create two distinct and highly immersive tracks.
At almost sixteen minutes long, “Banasik & Krychowiak” is the shorter of the pair, gliding in on clattery percussive hits and coasting among background drones that fill space as well as putting time on hold; while this is a relatively short piece when looked at in minutes and seconds elapsed, it feels far beyond the limits of normal passage from one moment to another. Instead, the slowly uncurling slithering sounds keep flowing past in an ebbing trickle, while the relatively gentle clang of metal on metal reverberates all industrial church-like under what seems to be the hypnotic patter of rain on a resonant surface — a wooden roof, perhaps — as plucked strings hint at melodies.The rainfall segues subtly and smoothly into the more ominous, longer-format “Adrjanczyk & Krychowiak”, and it’s here that things take a turn for the deserted and still-further removed from the mundane constrictions of the clock and all its marking of time’s passing. The mood is yet slower, the strums and strikes on strings steered sultrily skywards, unfolding and revealing their core emotional affect with the imminent expectation of a waiting word, a withheld utterance, somewhere between the icy windswept-steppe overtones of Phurpa and the ecstatic ambience of Popol Vuh (these are approximations, hints, not precise comparisons), somehow possessed of the tape-compressed warmth of a seemingly infinitely extended Mellotron extemporisation at the same time. It’s almost possible to scent incense and intent here, a ritual feeling that comes from the communion of two pairings of musicians held together in a trance-like state by their instruments and the playing thereof, rather than of any specifically religious kind. Together, the two improvisation make for some supremely enveloping listening, stretching out expansively while above all knowing the ways and wherefores of restraint and repose.