Polaris is the musical project of Polish musician Jakub Kmieć. Initially inspired by retro Berlin School, Polaris re orientated his musical approach being inspired by Spyra and a more contemporary music. Background Stories, his 3rd opus, offers a disconcerting musical diversity where abstract clears blithely a path through melodious bases.
Imprecise soundwaves coil up in loops into heavy reverberating loops which come and go; ''Lucid Dream'' introduces us straight ahead and quickly into the complex musical universe of Polaris. Nice percussions of a tribal sort lead to a hatched and bass sequential movement which wriggles sensually on a funky bass line in a cosmic universe stuffed by composite sound effects and heavy and wrapping synth strata. Background Stories is filled by these threatening soundwaves of which the heavy reverberations roll in a musical fauna rich in originality. And that’s how ''Permutations'' is opening. Pulsations frame a languishing rhythm encircled by a captivating synth which drops long solos swirling idly. The tempo gets more sensual with a nice hesitating piano which throws its notes in a jazz-lounge ambiance sustained by suggestive percussions. Crystalline arpeggios inspire a new sound direction introducing the 2nd part of ''Permutations'' which progresses with a more solid rhythm and a more dynamic piano. The pace becomes spasmodic with electronic percussions which roll in the hazes of a rippling synth which slowly eats the life out of ''Permutations''. The more we progress throughout Background Stories the more we evolve in a strange sound world. ''975-2'' is a long sensual monologue which wanders among a pleiad of sound effects all as strange as unusual. The bass is weighty and shapes a structure in perdition lost in a universe of thousand sound prisms. After a cosmic and floating intro ''Flashback'' explodes on beautiful sequential crossings. The keyboard drops keys which wind in echo, creating a melody to multiple dimensions which takes diverse forms, listening after listening. It’s a very good moment on Background Stories. ''Smile'' is abstracted with its metallic gas which embellish a musical world without concrete rhythms with misled and split up melodious fragments in a very caustic musical approach. With its heterogeneous percussions which are molding to an anvil sounding sequential movement filled of glass tones, ''Out of Alignment'' says it all. Quite soon, some nice tight-fitting strata wrap an indistinct rhythm structure which hooks to a waving bass, redefining its tempo with a techno funky approach on honeyed synth to lamentations of an electric guitar. ''Voltage Controlled Inspirations'' soaks into a cosmic electronic atmosphere with a plaintive synth to very acute and melodious whistlings on a discreetly sensual bass which coo in a rather hermetic atmosphere. This atmospheric rhythmic approach continues on ''Les Structures Logiques (Polaris's Version)''. Although less sensual and more livened up the tempo lives in nebulous spheres of a DJ that has a cosmic-experimental approach with a synth filled of imperfect minimalism chords which catch easily the hearing. ''Nostalgy'' ends this latest work of Polaris as it began. A melody dancing on heavy synth reverberations which become entangled to melodious chords and supported by a good percussions play, a bit less tribal, but just as much effective.
Polaris’ Background Stories is quite a lucky find from Ricochet Dream. It’s a more contemporary opus than EM Berlin School style. It’s a kind of progressive techno in a much diversified sound world which amazes so much by its originality than its complexity, while preserving a sort of melodious approach. A mixture of contemporary Spyra with Synth.NL
passion and the disappeared boldness of Jarre. It’s to discover for those whose sound exploration is a treat for ears… although that the melodious aspect facilitates largely the taming.
Sylvain Lupari (2008), synthsequences.blogspot.com/2011/12/polaris-background-stories-2008.html
The accessible and overall energetic music of his fourth album "Background Stories", which is released as a limited digipak edition of only 300 copies, pays tribute to the sound of the Berliner School with its bright sequencing style, warm synth-textures and engaging melodies in its own manner.
There are ten tracks on the almost 60-minute album, in which the captivating elements from Spyra (regarding the nostalgic feel) and a tad Tangerine Dream (concerning the sequencer-style) will sure be noticed.
There's a smooth, driving but also relaxed vibe embedded in the rhythmic, pulsating pieces, which will make this music appeal to a wide audience of contemporary electronic music.
Bert Strolenberg, www.sonicimmersion.org/review.php?letter=P&review=71733