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Winning with algorithms

Surrounded by electronic artists with an overdependence on software and new technologies, who fail to produce satisfying results despite the surplus of equipment, wh0wh0 shows the “human” factor to electronics.

Translation: Aleksandra Szkudłapska

Jacek Prościński’s musical path is winding and strewn with obstacles. Yet this obstacle course only makes the result more attractive for listeners. His ambiguous style makes it difficult to pigeonhole him within any single movement. He played jazz and rock with Tymon Tymański, electronica with Reni Jusis, his own vision of music of the future with Lasy and Delay_ok, and served as a skilful symbiosis of a rhythm section in LLovage with Olo Walicki. The deeper he goes into experimentation, the further this graduate of the Gdańsk Music Academy departs from a classical and acoustic style, veering towards Sonar, Unsound or CTM. This is clear already when you look at his drum set, enlarged by samplers and sensory percussion – sensors applied to drums that make them act like a sampler, able to differentiate the tone or sound depending on where on the instrument’s membrane you hit.

When Prościński sits behind his drums as wh0wh0, he plays in a nervous frenzy, spitting out sounds with breakneck velocity – all the music you can hear on wh0wh0 was created live, although upon first listen, you might be tempted to believe that these are in fact neat electronic pieces composed on a portable computer.Prościński, however, does what computers cannot do – he plays with agility and air. This isn’t music made using a software, but played live, with a substantial dose of the human factor. The musician combines the sound of his acoustic drum kit with samples, field recordings, and electronic percussion, which enables him to produce a very broad spectrum of sounds. In just 40 minutes, he takes us on a tour de force of European electronic scenes, inspired by the roster of Kompakt, Ninja Tune or Warp Records. The difference being that, contrary to electronic artists with an overdependence on software and new technologies, who fail to produce satisfying results despite the surplus of equipment, he creates his music live using a drum set. As if he had four pairs of hands. His technique is beyond reproach, but instead of a daring showcase of virtuosity, he gives us emotional outbursts with both warm and cool overtones, in the vein of Gold Panda („san0st0l”), Pantha du Prince („skkeletr0n”) or early Four Tet („sund0wn”).

Even if we’re threatened by a vision of Blade Runner-style algorithms, it’s the technical skills and frivolity of playing live that build the true value of this album. This is clear in “lal0lagi” or “bamb00”, where Prościński is able to squeeze additional beats and sounds in-between neatly assembled percussion and synthetic samples.Sometimes he does not follow the standard pulse of tracks, developing them or playing as if next to them, enhancing the dramatic effect of the music. This dense tissue testifies to his skilful balancing act on the thin line between physical playing and distorted electronic sounds. This music is high on precision, intuition, and sometimes also calculation, but also human impulses, which makes it all the more fresh and vibrant.

WH0WH0 wh0wh0, Coastline Northern Cuts.

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