Review: The Pololáníks – The Suspicious Slumber Party

R-8515410-1463172433-5119.jpegThis record is actually a collection of abandoned Pololáníks material, curated into a new release by Prague-based musician Tomáš Procházka (aka Federsel). These are the sounds that were put forward by improvisatory impulse, yet overruled by the more rigorous curation of retrospect. Clearly, the potency held by these pieces at the time of their creation didn’t endure for the The Pololáníks. Clearly, Federsel feels otherwise.

It’s a rabble of voices of every colour: accordions, guitars, saxophones, brass, electronics, voices, unidentifiable noises, cymbals, congealed into a thick puke of artistic reflex and primal reaction. Focussing on one sound in particular is impossible, given that the players don’t fall into roles of dominance and subordination – every sound demands to be heard with the same prominence as those on either side, squealing and twitching in a juvenile bid for attention, meaning that I find myself flitting frantically back and forth to engage with as much of the material as possible. I feel like a celebrity ambushed by insatiable journalists, and it’s impossible to field every query put to me.

Yet there are glimmers of methodical finesse. The record uses panning in the most wonderful way: sending sounds skittering from the centre to the edges, turning voices and brass into a glissando waterfall that slides down the sides of the stereo field. Equally, the record’s sense of commotion is the result of some very acute mixing – every clarinet spasm and discordant synth protrusion is tugged out into pseudo-3D, elbowing me in the eyes and ears as they clamber selfishly to the foreground of my attention, only to find that 12 other sounds had the exact same idea. It’s a wonderfully cramped 50 minutes, and I get the impression that The Pololáníks would only pile in more noises if they had somewhere to put them.