Because I spend most of my time trying to get sonic blood out of proverbial musical stones, that is, trying to find the selling point in the latest mumbling bad boy rapper (who is actually a straight-A student from suburban Connecticut) or the musical merits of a band who are still trying to sound like Arctic Monkeys’ first album, anything by Ludwik Konopko landing in the review pile does so like a lungful of the sweetest air.
The great thing about this Polish guitarist, one of the great things anyway, is the way that he ignores any fad or fashion, swerves plagiarism and pastiche and seems content to write and perform the music that makes him happy. It makes you wonder why more people don’t think that way.
Over a series of releases, I have come to love his heady blends of jazz and folk, world music and blues, the almost pop accessibility, and the dexterity and grace of his music. He also reminds us that, just because Ludwik and those he calls on to make music with him have some serious musical skills to offer, doesn’t mean that you have to throw everything into a song. Showboating and flashy playing serve only the ego not the song and nothing good ever came from such an approach. Nothing!
Sunday Alchemy continues this elegant music journey, a blend of neat guitar lines that say so much with just a few, well-chosen notes as if he is merely surrounding the natural atmospherics that arises with a musical shell, just heavy enough to capture light tones and gossamer textures within the song yet without dominating the space. And this space allows the eloquent and effective rhythm section to be heard, a perfect lilting platform on which to present these melodies.
And this time out, there is something new at work too, vocals. Well, sort of. As the song reaches its stride, distant, half-heard rap-infused deliveries rise up to mess and tangle with the background rhythms. Far enough away that you can’t quite discern their message, close enough that they act as another instrument in the musical mesh.
Sunday Alchemy is light and addictive, it begs your hips to sway, your fingers to click, your feet to move and it is only the most ardent wallflower who remains unmoved, and indeed unmoving, as it plays out its delicate musical dance.
Keep up to date with Ludwik Konopko’s releases via Youtube and other social media sites at the links below.
Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.com/albums/B09WH26PD9