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Jan Matiz — II
(Bandcamp tier.debut no#, 2023, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2023-04-19

II Cover art

Kiss My Emoji Ring was a surprising gem last year, a really distinctive blend of acoustic and electronic music. Jan Matiz is the solo project of I Work in Communications guitarist Marius Mathiszik, and with his second release, he shows another side of his artistry. Acoustic guitar provides the basis for most of the tracks, with lovely parts that straddle folk and Classical styles, but they’re backed by all sorts of interesting electronics and other instruments, creating fascinating soundscapes that occasionally sound like Anthony Phillips got hijacked into a hallucinatory world of bent circuits and cyborg percussionists. “Siebenachtel” sets the mood, starting with quiet electronic glitches that back some nice finger-picked acoustic guitar. Gradually other instruments join in, including percussive noises (most of which don’t sound like identifiable percussion instruments), keyboards, and at least one other guitar part, all backed by scattered echoes and processing. “Het Verhall van het Woud” (“The Story of the Forest”) features some acoustic guitar work that calls to mind some of Steve Tibbetts’ groundbreaking work, combining it with electronic sounds instead of natural percussion. “Modderland” includes a lovely and emotional cello part played by guest Beate Wolff, pulling a serene and meditative piece into a much more intense area. “Kleiner Song” is a three-part suite that encapsulates the album’s aesthetic in 13 minutes, beginning with the acoustic guitar dominant, overwhelming it with electronics (and a distorted electric guitar), and then bringing it all together in a balanced whole. There are occasional touches of flamenco in the guitar work, and also a tinge of Michael Hedges, though for the most part Mathiszik sets a mood of calm rather than indulging in any flashy playing. Jan Matiz II is a compelling work of singular artistry and a great example of how acoustic and electronic sounds can work together harmoniously.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Marius Mathiszik / I Work in Communications / Jan Matiz

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