Year of release: 2019
Released by: Funeral Trance Records
Rating: 9 / 10
One of the most delightful impressions of this summer for me was the debut album of the Polish project SPOPIELONY, which with air ease took its place in my personal top-2019. The project, which the author, publisher and journalists formally refer to as “dungeon synth”, is in fact something completely different. By and large, the musician himself gave an exhaustive definition of the release on his Bandcamp. This is a quiet, cozy ambient, created on the basis of a passion for old-fashioned analog aesthetics, space, mysticism, poetry - in general, everything that offers a mental experience that goes beyond simple physical existence. The album has no “plot” or ideology - it’s just an unhurried flow of emotions, colors and images. The author says that his music sounds like from under the water, and I will add that it also feels like you are sitting on the seashore and looking at the sea in the rays of summer sunset. In this context, the promo photo of the musician was chosen extremely successful. He understands everything about his art.
In general, the music is very simple. However, each track offers some new impression, or at least new instrument. One has an acoustic guitar, the other has a synthesized piano. The thing "Легенда О" sounds like a soundtrack to an ancient Soviet sci-fi film, and “Gwiazdy” - like a song of cold space. One way or another, most of the material does not resemble MORTIIS or BURZUM, not at all, but it's quite similar the most trance works of TANGERINE DREAM. Some compositions would fit perfectly into Stranger Things OST, for example. Nostalgic motives make their way not only to the depths of the soul, but even deeper, rushing into the abyss of the subconscious. If “Legendy” is not a masterpiece, it is damn close to it. You can listen to it endlessly, especially at night. Perhaps this is the first album in my adult life that fully resurrects sensations from a distant youth. I’ll make it clearer: if today, let's say, you take your favorite atmospheric film from childhood and watch it in a completely recreated setting, on a video tape and an old TV, in the cozy darkness of your parents’ home, you still won’t return to childhood. But “Legendy” is able to return you there at least for a short while.
The situation with the physical release of the album is not entirely clear. The release came out in digital and cassette formats at Funeral Trance label, which announced a suspension of activities a couple of days ago due to personal problems. The cassette release is notable for the fact that there are two more tracks on it, therefore, of course, you need to take it while there is still an opportunity. Moreover, on CD, this music will sound worse.