David Kollar 2023
Slovakian architect of abstract six-string grandeur exposes his slow-burning soul to scorch the ground.
David Kollar’s platters have never been known even for superficial fierceness, yet this album is finally imbued with unbridled emotionality – a spectrum of feelings which were subdued on "Where Are They … " released a bit earlier, but let out in the open under the influence of Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” that inspired the guitarist to travel from Prešov to Catalonian capital and imbibe flamenco in its natural habitat. Hence the voyage from despair of the past to the pensive plane of existence where optimism lurks – and sometimes bares teeth and barks or licks the listener’s ears to reflect the artist’s gamut of moods and reveal his penchant for elusive melody – a journey aimed to dissolve any doubt regarding Kollar’s ability to harness his lyrical self for all to see. And take everyone to the verge of pleasure.
Yet while “Echoes Of Hopeful Melancholies” – note the plural form of the last words as opposed the singular in the record’s title – edges dangerously close to ecstatic, aggressive blues at the end, “Tears In Elegance” outlines the muscular vibrancy David’s fingers derive from acoustic instrument. They caress and stroke the strings with stunning sensuality before passing hypnotic, if dynamic, momentum to “Bittersweetness” which weaves a starkly romantic lace – a gossamer matter that the energetic “Serenading Solitude” will pick up later on to bring the master’s love of folk to the fore. However, the otherwise delicate “Crimson Skies” comes across as insistent and intense as its titular and stylistic references suggest, contrasting the barely-there strum of “Wandering Soul” which gradually solidifies into a fine sonic edifice, whereas “Saties’s Echo” organically turns snippets of “Gymnopédies” into a gloomy soundscape, and “Dancing With Ancestors” introduces almost frenetic ambience to the album’s flow.
Wrapping up the platter, “Wings Of Hope” is nigh on anthemic and ethereal at the same time, and that’s exactly what’s required at a time when optimism seems to be thin on the ground. An exquisite work.