'Glimmer': Jacaszek's Winter Spell

by Diana


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Jacaszek, Ghostly International's Polish contingent, makes Diana sad in a good way.

It's been a while since I listened to classical stuff but I got into it again over Christmas. I guess it's because most of the music that have the classical ingredients, which I enjoy listening to is depressing, to some extent, and although it's the beautiful and sweet kind of depression, it's easier to endure that state of mind when at home in your own bed, with nothing to worry about - besides making sure you're gonna make mom happy by eating as much food from the fridge as you possibly can. It was also more winter-y back home than here in Copenhagen, so it just felt right. Classical, sombre music just goes better with winter and snow.

As I was listening to the new release by Polish musician Jacaszek in the comfort of my bed while watching the snow falling outside the window, it totally hit me: It's just the kind of album you want to listen to on a long gloomy winter night in a mountain cottage with a fireplace, alone. Fireplace is quite essential here. You should consider getting one before getting his newest Glimmer, really. I have a feeling it'll make a massive difference hearing the album with a crackling fire in the background. Well, that's the way I feel about this record, anyway. You may want to listen to it on different occasions, like when performing a voodoo ritual or going fishing, I don't know.

I'm neither a classical music expert and this genre is not something I enjoy on weekly basis, nor did I crap my pants listening to this album. But it did get a substantial amount of my attention, also because of the fact that Jacaszek as an Eastern European artist, was released on Ghostly International, an indie label whose name resonated forcefully in 2011. Glimmer goes on my list of beautifully depressing records, for sure. Its extensive use of harpsichord makes for the Gothic ambience and the music has an almost enchanting, atmospheric feel to it. The sadness of this record makes you feel something without bringing you down.

I couldn't help but constantly thinking of Tim Hecker. It did remind me of his latest 'Ravedeath, 1972', although Jacaszek's Glimmer was somehow more textured, and easier to enjoy. It's probably because Hecker's music is stronger and maybe a bit more difficult to understand, which is quite possibly why I digested Glimmer faster and more easily. So here's a tip: If you're into electro acoustic classical ambient kind of stuff, but Hecker is too much for you (I couldn't, for example, go fishing with 'Ravedeath, 1972' in my iPod), you should go for this one.

If you put all the elements together you can see that Glimmer was a release that was thought through. The music, Jacaszek's background, the record label he was released on, Glimmer's cover art and the fact that it was released in the cold month of December; it all just simply makes sense.