"what a long, strange journey this has been" (Album, 2001) !DSO Recommended!
We get a lot of unsolicited material here at the DSO HQ and much of that doesn't even progress to the review pile. Occasionally, we get something we've never heard of that is quite impressive. Far more rare is the previously unknown gem. 2 by bukowski's debut album is just such a rarity. Released on the Thessalonika-based Greek label Poeta Negra, 2 by bukowski (actually from the north of England and not Greece) have been described as the European answer to dark, US post rockers Godspeed You Black Emperor. Not sure I'd entirely agree with that myself (although I can see the connection) as this is less post rock and more ambient, but there is a sprawling epic quality to their (all instrumental) compositions.
The fifteen minute opener goes under the glorious and equally long title Buckle up Scully, I believe Chuck here is about to take us on a ride to the abnormal! And it lives up to its promise. A thoughtful stroll through a relaxing musical landscape that is anything but normal. That's not to say it's weird, just uncommonly good. The chilled-out mood is continued on the second track, It's time to hybernate; and it isn't until we get to ZAGADKA that things start to pick up pace. An opening pipe organ loop and spaciously recorded live drumming (rim shots, cymbals and simple bass drum) are the basis for a remarkably simple yet moving piece of music. A warm guitar leads the way on 8 steps of the crane and the snake, again the pace gradually building this time with a snare. The warbling guitar, lush synths and bell like percussion inevitably brings Angelo Badalamenti's melancholic Lyncian screen moments to mind.
The immediately off-beat percussion and rich Hammondesque organ of Burn With, the sorceress utilises a decidedly jazzy vibe to nice effect. Finally, Solution: Sarrus explains the Godspeed comparisons. Amp also spring to mind. With a largely improvised feel to it, this elegant piece of post rockism manages to hold back for about half of its nine and a quarter minute running time before letting the guitars really drive ahead. A fitting and rewarding end to a terrific first album. Sadly, limited to just 500 copies so get in touch with either 2byb or their label Poeta Negra immediately. 8/10
Official 2 by bukowski website: http://www.2bybukowski.com