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While this website has become known for its in-depth album and concert reviews, the digest contains concise comments on new music our audience has either recommended or might enjoy. Click on album covers or label names for links to further information. Click on the title to view the article.

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Synesthesis CD Cover
Image © Kayanis Music 2001

Kayanis Live
Image © Kayanis Music 2001

Kayanis Live
Image © Kayanis Music 2001

 

(24 December 2002) Kayanis is one of the most popular EM composers in Poland. He took first guitar classes in 1982, aged ten. Two years later he enrolled at the State Music School of Slupsk, where he learned the acoustic bass and the piano. Between 1984 and 1987 played bass guitar and keyboards with local rock bands and further developed his style during the early 1990s.

Machines & Dreams (Hardbeat Records, 1998) was his first solo album. Kayanis then began to appear on Polish national TV channels, produced and directed his first video. Polish Radio 3 began to play the album and "Arecibo" and "Lost Tribe” ultimately reached numbers 7 and 9 respectively on Jerzy Kordowicz's Top TLEN--an electronic music hit list, the most popular EM radio show in Poland. Kayanis played a lot of concerts, including the ZEF festival--at that time the biggest electronic music festival in the country.

Synenthesis (Luna Music (Poland) LUNCD074-2, 2001) is a much larger scale project. It is comprised of nine tracks that work together as a cohesive whole. Tempo and style changes are frequent--there are touches of classical, new age, progressive and even metal. Kayanis, accompanied by Jacek Szczepkowski, the sound engineer, entered the Keyamo Studio (built specially for the project) on January 2, 2001. The left it for good in June--yet still some work was to be doney at a mastering facility. More than a hundred and fifty musicians and vocalists participated in the recording.

The album involves a good load of synth sounds, extraordinary guitar work, vocals, choirs and a chamber orchestra. The album is a union of styles--it cannot really be compared to anything, Synesthesis marks a new path in synth-based music: somewhere between EM, progressive rock and classical film music. Gentle yet extremely powerful at times, classical yet modern, passionate and strong but still melodious, sometimes even relaxing, this is an album of tremendous proportions. It won't leave your CD player for long once you put it on.

The album's strongest vocal numbers are album standouts. They include the choral "Synethesis I," the layered multi-tracked new age metal rossover "Nevertheless" and the synthesizer-backed ballad "Sad Song" sung solo joned by saxophone in spots. Listeners will be enthralled with the metal-edged power of the choral stylings in "Inter Arma Silent Musae" and "Willow Green."

Kayanis’s Synesthesis concert involves twenty musicians and vocalists. The show presents music from Machines and Dreams, Synesthesis and Keyamo albums, the last one which has not yet been released. A four minute live video excerpt of "Synethesis" was viewed by our editors during the preparation of this review. Return to Musical Discoveries for our forthcoming reviews of additional material by Kayanis. Further information is available at the artist's (click on images) and label's (click on label name) websites.

Synethsis is as much an instrumental album--perhaps even moreso--as it is vocal. Enthusiasts of Yanni, Rick Wakeman, Kitaro will be as excited with the project as fans of Adiemus, Enya and the like. But it is the harder, metal-edged progressive bits that truly make this an incredible work of global proportions. Clearly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, it is a must listen!

 
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