DAVID KOLLAR – Where Are They​.​.​.​? And Other Stories

Blue Lizard 2023

Where Are They​.​.​.​?
And Other Stories

Purveyor of mind-boggling soundscapes streams his consciousness down memory lane.

Given David Kollar’s work rate, one would assume any new album might come easily to him, yet what follows in the wake of 2022’s "The Vision Man" – the Slovakian composer’s last solo opus – had a laborious genesis, not in the least because this record feels like a labor of love, and a very personal process at that, a lament for relatives who left our mortal coil. However, the inherent sadness of music written in remembrance of departed family members does not get to be more understatedly grandiose than it is here and so full of inner light which will make the six pieces on display seem emotionally luxuriant, if impressionistic in nature. Based around two expansive, texture-rich tapestries, the guitarist’s melodic analysis of his own microcosm, with Kollar exploring gloomy aspects of existence in search of new hope, never fails to stun the listener.

David doesn’t hold back on unsealing his sentimental seam, opening the platter with the stereo-busting sonic spectacle of the album’s titular epic whose powerful waves overwhelm those lending their ears to this dynamic wonder which takes almost a half of the record’s run – except, there’s no running in such a slow layering of faux-orchestral tracts of scintillating and stygian matter – and hosts despondent spoken-word passages and piano splashes to tie it all to percussively crystalline, rarefied and ruminative space, an aural cathedral of sorts. Seeking closure from grief and gracing the latitudes with blistering guitar filigree, the Prague denizen may avoid conflict of moods, but since the next four numbers are titled after different medicines, his handling of sorrow is as touching as the robust, and increasingly abstract, dewdrops of “Mirzaten” suggest before “Tiapridal” introduces nervous scratch to the ambient palette. And while “Neurol” dissolves anxiety in a sparse, yet tune-sketching, six-string twang, “Rhytmonorm” allows Kollar’s ivories to jive in a stumbling jazz manner, setting the scene for “Requiem For Uncle”: a tentatively triumphant, in a new-age way, echo of the album’s opener.

It’s a cathartic experience – a successful attempt at self-healing that everyone can relate to.


December 1, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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