Beam Me Up, Polinski
Between tour dates and performances, Paul Wolinski of UK’s instrumental post-rock band 65daysofstatic assumed the alternate identity Polinski with a mere laptop and synthesizer. On October 31st, Monotrome Records released the musical space odyssey that is Polinski’s Labyrinths. An album that evokes sounds of electronica from the mid-1990s, Labyrinths is a powerful time capsule that conjures images of teleporters and warp-speed spaceships with an ironically vintage twist.
Labyrinths begins with light, interweaving samples that break into heavy synth chords. The opening track, appropriately named “1985-Quest,” has a driving beat with subtle rhythmic samples. It seamlessly fades into “Stitches,” a track that features the robotic vocals of Big Black Delta. “Stitches” demonstrates Polinski’s ability to create a trance sound with characteristic build-ups followed by heavily energetic breakdowns. The following track “Tangents” sounds like a variation on themes heard in “Stitches.” It is, for all intents and purposes, a series of musical tangents that shoot off from the preceding track.
“Still Looking” begins with a sound that is similar to the first three tracks, but it quickly spins into a different dynamic with more abrasive synth lines and glitchier sampling. Stylistically, “Like Fireflies” sounds like a track that would be found on a Ferry Corsten album with the appearance of a light, ethereal voice behind trance-like synthesizers. “Kressyda,” which is perhaps the strongest track on Labryinths, is a culmination of all of the album’s sounds with a happy-hardcore, upbeat energy. It has an offbeat tribal quality, successfully playing with polyrhythms and polyphonic texturing that gives the track a complex sound. The album finishes off with “Awaltzoflight,” a track with dramatic instrumentation that heralds the end of Polinski’s musical sampling of outer space.
In contemporary electronic music, it’s hard to find an album that stylistically comes together as a whole. Polinski’s Labyrinths is one of the few that respects the art of binding individual tracks together with an encapsulating sound. It is an album for long car drives, packed raves, and everything in between, ultimately proving Wolinski’s musicianship on his own terms as a solo artist.