Boomkat Product Review:
Jacaszek reissues 'Pentral' - another long player of incredible depth and ambition - a conceptual project attempting to describe a gothic church interior with sound.
"In order to realise this, Jacaszek set about recording 'Pentral' in three of Gdansk's oldest churches. Divided into ten parts, it could be said that 'Pentral' is an uneasy listening experience, throwing the listener violently at times with almost overwhelming dynamic contrasts; what begins as a slow and tense build seemingly created from sample based recordings suddenly explodes into an unrelenting, shimmering wall of discordance, sounding like a hundred church organs screaming out. The compositions have all the claustrophobia of the nastier end of Scott Walker's 'The Drift' arrangements, yet there does seem to be some light at the end of the tunnel - even in its most distressing moments there is, within the ethereal racket, something of an uplifting optimism.
While 'Pentral' does contain passages of melodic beauty such as those found on 'Treny', this is a journey that is more rooted in atonal explorations. It has more of a 'found sound' source material feel, which in part comes from Jacaszek's use and capitalization on accidental noises captured whilst recording in the church environments. "Part III" for instance develops into a absolutely jaw-dropping choral arrangement, all laced in background static and percussive, treated piano recordings, never overreaching, never trying too hard to overstate. Elsewhere we find pieces which attack with an intent to terrify; "Part VI" is a schizophrenic composition, frantically and without warning cutting between sparse, low-end tension and more pummeling organ clusters - the unexpected bursts of dissonance being on a parallel with the noise blasts of Sutcliffe Jugend and early Whitehouse. But this is not a noise album by any stretch of the imagination.
Ghostly operatic voices and unexpected minimal use of percussion colour the low organ tones and treated sounds, mixing unsettling feelings with equal amounts of perplexity and intrigue. It's as much about the silence in the pieces as it is the compositions; within its minimal moments, what comes through it the vastness of the church spaces, the slow decay of the sounds entirely owing to the environments in which they were recorded. It's dark and it's certainly desolate at times, but in other moments the pieces purvey a sense of these buildings' strength and stability - these historic churches have stood the test of time."