David Kollar 2022
Prešov’s own proponent of guitar-laden soundscape opens an imaginative, and imaginary, aural perspective.
There’s always been an air of mesmeric abstractness to David Kollar’s music, yet if it could be reined in to suit Steven Wilson‘s songs or turn incidental when used in cinema, the task of scoring a play for Slovak Radio was of different scope for him – a more difficult one in many aspects. Instrumentally enhancing a story about a dead river at the time when war started in Ukraine, in less then 100 km from the artist’s hometown, might have presented him with an appropriately gloomy mood – and unwelcome distraction too – while trying to fit the tunes between the lines of spoken text, rather than augment visuals, didn’t come easy. Still, four days of creative torment in the studio resulted in something almost astounding.
The 17 pieces on display are evocative regardless of their length, and such cuts as “River” deliver a delicate, beautiful blow in a minute, after the listener has been drowned in the sparse, pause-stricken, but resonant, strum of protracted “Opening” which offers a first look into the album’s dark depth, before majestic soundscapes of “Bear” unfold understated, although majestic, panorama, and the faux-orchestral forms of “Toxic Animal” unleash a fully-fledged guitar ripple. The sonics turn vibrantly acoustic in the record’s title track that will give way to the troubled dynamic sway of sporadically epic “Metella” where piano strokes make an appearance, and the industrial scratching of “Worker 2” with its latent cacophony.
The more unexpected, then, is the robust groove under the surface of “Water” which marries rage to rave and carries tranquility away only to let the twangy “Mufurc” restore it in a dewdrop suspense, elevating the elegiac drift until “Ending” crystallizes the entire experience into a solid, bass-swelling feeling of eternal loss – and tentative hope. Achieving this synthesis in the absence of words is no mean feat, yet David Kollar’s aural pictures are nigh on stunning, what with him being the titular Vision Man as well.