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Improvised live during Ricochet Gathering in Rathaus Schöneberg, Berlin 2010.10.15


[...] Spherical and dreamy music starts out on the 11-minute title track with a distinct kind of movement that nicely carries on on the second piece "Mal du Siecle". Moody vocoder voices show up at the end of this track, aptly complementing the smooth morphing synth textures. Things turn more rhythmic on the more technological-oriented "Octahedron Moon", made up of harmonic guitar, spheric soundscapes and lovely grainy effects.

The 15-minute "Berolina Train" is the longest and also best piece on the album. It smoothly develops in a gently sequenced, down-tempo kind of way with vintage undercurrents. Congrats to these two musicians for its catchy and infectious spatial sound design on this track along a mellow-dancy rhythm. A slight Kraftwerkian touch shimmers through the last track "Subconcious choice", a comfortable up-beat/psychedelic sound experience. [...]

Bert Strolenberg, www.sonicimmersion.org

[...] Inventive electronics are accompanied by artificial percussion, resulting in dreamy tuneage.

A versatile array of electronics are employed to generate sounds of every which sort, from deep bass rumblings to celestial airs to grinding rotors to sweeping textures. These assorted electronics are layered to spawn fluid passages of twinkling beauty.

While a distinct percentage of the electronics are created by manipulating knobs, a fair amount of keyboard-triggered passages are prevalent in the music.

Cybernetic rhythms contribute novel beats, some of which establish tempos, while others simply lurk in the mix on an equal basis with the electronic riffs.

There's some astral guitar, too, although whether it's natural or synthetic is immaterial. These threads sparkle amid the blooping noises and flowing chords. With the brief appearance of acoustic guitar, one suspects some of the strings are conventional.

This music possesses a delightfully fresh sound, blending retro Berlin stylings with a modern esoteric approach. There's even a touch of peripheral ilbience thrown in to jazz things up. Everything merges to produce an enticing flow. While the majority of this tuneage falls into the auralscape model (slow-building sonic structures that gradually coalesce into blissful pinnacles), a few pieces pursue the more traditional "song" approach (with lead riffs and rhythms, both mounting in puissance to bewitching crescendos).

Releases like this leave the listener eager to hear more by these musicians.

Matt Howarth, www.soniccuriosity.com

Here is an album which is the subject of much talk in contemporary EM circle. Stemming from a live improvisation session during the last Ricochet Gathering held in Berlin in 2010, Collision from Polaris & Krzysztof Horn is a stunning journey in the universe of sounds and musical samplings which feed a musical fauna to scents of old Berlin School and more contemporary rhythms of down-tempo and mid-tempo. It’s a bit as we mixed morphic synth layers from Schulze or Froese to nervous rhythms of Spyra or Namlook. It’s simply delicious and we ask for more of it, as our ears tame this surprising meshing of sounds and musical images.
Yet the introduction of the title track, "Collision", let nothing perspire as it with this colourful universe where contorted tones team up with a warm synth line which coos under fine tinkled arpeggios. The first stammerings of scratched metal can be heard a little after 90 seconds. Cracklings sparkling under the axis of a warm synth curve inflame odd silvery pulsations which cavort awkwardly beneath suave synth layers with a slightly apocalyptic outline, confining the soft musical envelope of "Collision" to slow down the boiling of heterogeneous and metallic tones which germs throughout its evolution. Because beyond aborted ping-pong knocks-up, anemic cymbal’s tsitt-tsitt and cracklings slides a delicious bass line which draws a strange futuristic down-tempo pulsing beneath chipped streaks and nice synth lines of which tones wake Berlin School vestiges. And the more we move forward in Collision and the more those syncretic sound effects scatter, leaving room to good and sweet melodies and nice flexible rhythms. "Mal Du Siecle" fits in to these sinuous ghostly sound-waves and in the stigmatized ashes of "Collision" to pound of a magnetic beating of metallic heart. Muffled beatings pulse in a swallow hole built in the heart of enormous subterranean machinery, increasing its pace and amplitude. A little as a train progressing in a universe of din and beneath curves of synth lines fill of Blade Runner tones. And once arrived to destination, we can hear the rustles of a crowd misled in its steps. It’s very beautiful and rather catchy. There are no empty spaces on Collision and the Polish duet fills the air of a thick cloud of composite tones which mould a surrealist urban fauna beneath nice fragments of melodies. With its guitar riffs and chords running in loops under a fine hatched line, "Octahedron Moon" takes a different register that sounds a bit as Michael Rother's sound world. It’s very melodious and it pours beneath muddy beeps and rustles of white noises before tumbling into a more static passage where percussions, pulsations and cyborgs dialects burst under morphic synth layers. After brief and doubtful "The Parent of all Others", "Berolina Train" moves on with a series of loops from a synth which subdivides its lines to procreate wandering choirs. These loops and choirs travel and wave, crossing riffs and pads which flutter nervously, while the longest title of Collision goes quietly towards a more technoïd mood. "Berolina Train" becomes then a very nice down- tempo which moves its rhythmic approach beneath assorted tones which espouse and the shape and its melodious approach. The rhythm is supple and lulls on a fine pulsating line, nervous keyboard riffs and good layers of a floating synth, adding a very nice parallelism dimension to a universe of industrial dance-floor. And when our ears clear the undergrowth the rhythm from the ambiance we hear a beautiful sequencing pattern pounding beneath a smooth synth filled by reminiscences of vintage Berlin School. Marvellous! By far the most striking track on Collision which continues its strange and hypnotic eclectic crusade with "Subconscious Choice", another splendid down-tempo filled by silvered layers which undulate in industrial loops beneath dashing tsitt-tsitt, nervous floating riffs and a series of palpitations which pour into the rhythm such as an arrhythmia programmed sober percussions.
Collision from Polaris and Krzysztof Horn is a wonderful album of contemporary EM. The Polish duet weaves a surrealist sound and musical universe which converges constantly on progressive rhythms. Rhythms which are skilfully buried in vintage Berlin School aromas with a musical outline imprinted by soft synth layers which float and wrap rhythms progressing towards nice and delicious down-tempo. We are at the borders of a brilliant criss-crossed musical universe. And it’s as much beautiful as that can be bewitching. [...]

Sylvain Lupari, synthsequences.blogspot.com


released September 7, 2011

All tracks composed and performed by
Jakub Kmieć (POLARIS) and Krzysztof Horn

Cover photo: Dariusz Adler



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Polaris Poland

POLARIS - Jakub Kmieć.

"It's only me, my synths and my imagination"

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