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Album Review

Aurelijus Užameckis: Signals

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Aurelijus Užameckis: Signals


Signals is a debut solo album from one of the most promising Lithuanian double bassists, Aurelijus Užameckis, who recently graduated from Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. He is a member of jazz rock band Džiazlaif and also a leader of the international ensemble, The Young Immigrants. During his career Užameckis has shared the stage with the brightest Lithuanian jazz and improvised music stars as well as with well-known world musicians such as Kenny Wollesen, Kresten Osgood, Lotte Anker.

Užameckis' album contains music written and performed by himself. Besides, Signals has been recorded at the special place— Brønshøj water tower in Copenhagen. This building holds a unique room ambience with reverb of approximately 13 seconds. Therefore, the water tower became an additional musician who re-shaped the sound of double bass.

Signals begins with a dark, massive-sounding low-pitched wave that follows the same dynamic range for a while. Gradually, low-pitched sound changes to a high-pitched one and atmosphere becomes much brighter but still full of melancholy. However, the composition gets back to the lower octave at the final stage. Following tracks reveal basically the same circular compositional approach and sorrowful atmosphere.

Does it mean that Signals is a predictable and monotonous release? Definitely not. this debut album by the Lithuanian double bassist is a remarkable sonic adventure. The sounds produced by the double bass dive into the space of a water tower and are enriched with additional tones and overtones which begin to superimpose and intertwine in polyphonic waves, creating the illusion of several instruments. The album is a pleasant surprise for vigilant ears. Listening to such compositions as "Slow Breather," in which double bass sounds almost like Colin Stetson's saxophone, or "This Isn't Heaven," in which pizzicato technique due to natural reverb reminds of synth, is a inique experience.

Although Užameckis uses different playing techniques on the album, the focus here is not the virtuosity or sophisticated compositional approach but the emotions, deriving from a very personal dialog between musicians inner self, double-bass and surroundings.

Užameckis playing manner and compositional thinking is distinctive. Listening to the double bass in his hands, you wouldn't be able to say you hear Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro, Barry Guy or any other leading figures. His debut record is far away from a typical double bass album that can be expected from a musician creating in a field of jazz/improvisational music. Užameckis makes completely unique, personal and intimate soundscapes, which is closer to ambient/drone or even minimalism aesthetic rather than jazz or improvised music.

Track Listing

Signals; Tame Your Thoughts; Apathetic/Empathetic; Trust The Machine; Your Third Cocktail Personality; Call; Recall; Slow Breather; Nebulous Dream; This Isn't Heaven; Finale.

Personnel

Aurelijus Užameckis: bass.

Album information

Title: Signals | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: CRRNT Records

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