Boomkat Product Review:
Polish cellist Resina yields a brilliantly damaged and hauntingly powerful take on classical convention with her 3rd solo LP, a follow-up to her 2021 vampire RPG soundtrack - RIYL Penderecki, Hildur Gudnadottir, Ben Frost, Mica Levi
Leading on from the bloodlust themes of Karolina Rec aka Resina’s work on cult RPG soundtrack ‘Vampire The Masquerade - Shadows of New York’, the Polish artist galvanises ideas explored on her brooding eponymous debut and 2018’s ‘Traces’ into her meanest and most compelling arrangements on ‘Speechless’. Presented as “[an] expansive record that explores ideas about language, the voice and the unpredictability of nature” the nine-part recording deploys Resina’s signature cello, voice and electronics against a majestic backdrop of the Gdansk-based, 23-piece 441 Hz choir, plus Magdalena Gajdzica playing flute and Michał Fojcik adding field recording & sound design, with post-production by Daniel Rejmer rendering their staggering efforts in full spectrum glory. While there may be a lot of records of this glowering ilk in circulation, this one stands out for its sheer might and poignant restraint, employing a fearless approach to fucking with conventions.
Might just be us overreaching, but there’s a sense of Poland’s shadow of historic trauma arching over the work, even hinting at contemporary struggles, too. Resina deals with her material deftly and, crucially, sometimes crudely, in a way that no doubt conveys a sense of sorrow and anguish as much as fury and romantic beauty. The 441 Hz choir appear dissected and reassembled in swarming choral movements throughout the album, perhaps most strikingly in the centrepiece of ‘Unveiling’, but more often as part of its sweeping weather system of light/dark and dramatic pressure drops and shiver-inducing downpours, as the drama moves from soul-cutting shrieks in ‘Mercury Immersion’ to another standout in the anguished howl of ‘Recall’ that brings the curtain down on its vast sound stage.
Bullish orchestral percussion raises up on ‘Horse Tail’ and comes to drive the ‘Failed Myth Simulation’ to steepled height. But they’re ideally tempered with Resina’s elisions of harsh, almost BM like electronics with symphonic pomp redolent of Tim Hecker in ‘Darwin’s Finches’ and nail-biting tension in ‘Manic’ that resolves at unexpected angles and keeps keener listeners at the seat-edge..