It is always good to come across music that is not quite what you would expect it to be. Guitarist Jakub Tirco, who is from Prague, has released this album that falls somewhere between being outright prog and post-rock when you would expect it to be very firmly the latter on a casual brief listen. The album is wholly instrumental, and the nine tracks feature a variety of moods and approaches.
The opener, Aubade, is an urgent and intense piece that sounds unsettled and in motion, Saudade has a wistful dreamlike chimerical quality, Moderation is a nuanced balance of peaks and troughs, whilst Cocaine Lipstick feels unsettling with its odd time signatures and nervy air. Baard Kolstad, the Leprous drummer, guests on The End Of All Things, with the interplay between the guitarist and the drummer being playful, each instrument giving the other some supportive emphasis. From post-rock Jakub takes the swelling crescendo nature of that music and allies it with the melodic lead lines that might be more typically prog.
Jakub says of the album; “With Alaska I felt the need to focus more on the guitar itself while also incorporating a lot of what makes music to me sonically interesting. Whether it’s odd time signatures, octaves, oddly processed synths and voices or lush ambient sounds, those are the things that immediately grab my attention and are probably the best descriptors of what this album sounds like.”
Additional colour comes from Jakub’s use of the studio as an instrument itself, including the tasteful use of electronics when deemed necessary. The additional use of trombones and piano give the sounds some subtle shades. Production is very good, with excellent clarity throughout. The guitarist rarely strays from being melodic, which is what lifts this album away from just being another post-rock album full of quasi-romantic swells and crescendos to something altogether more thoughtful. It is that which makes this such a listenable pleasure.
The End of All Things (feat. Baard Kolstad)
Palo Balcak – drums
Baard Kolstad – drums in The End of All Things
Martin Mito Samuely – bass in The End of All Things
Gregor Chalupecky – trombones in Aubade, Mixed Signals and Horizontals
Michal Worek – piano in track Saudade
Jakub Tirco – all other instruments
Release date: 29th July, 2022