Somnambule - Writing About Music

Skalpel ~ Konfusion

For their second album the Polish DJ duo Skalpel have embarked upon a much more determinedly jazzy direction than their eponymous, downtempo debut. The duo’s stated intention with Konfusion is to “resurrect the dusty and smoky spirit of ‘60s and ‘70s Polish Jazz and then re-imagine it for 21st century audiophiles”. What they actually achieve is something rather different. Most of the music consists of a stripped down percussive exoskeleton and tendonal bass paired with a smattering of samples. The effect is moodily noirish, but ultimately it lacks the unpredictability and the blood and fire that real improvisation threatens to spit out at any moment. However, it’s a fairly enjoyable set to whose grooves it’s difficult not to nod one’s head. If Skalpel were to team up with some real, live musicians next time, things might get really interesting.
Colin Buttimer
October 2005
Published by Jazzwise magazine