KREKSO feat. AGNES HVIZDALEK C40 “Strictly Akustic” (Meteorismo)

Not gonna lie, I was REALLY hoping this “akustic” music wasn’t going to be all guitar and coffeshop, you dig? So when the “akustik” became “electroacoustic,” I was more like, “Yeah, I can get with this.” Krekso comes from Prague, as does Meteorismo, but this isn’t PRAGUE Prague, it’s more like an abstract representation of it. So maybe I should’ve guessed that this was going to be a little more interesting than I first imagined at the start, what with all the unpronounceable names (to me anyway – sorry, so many diacritical marks!) and the four tracks stretching forty minutes. Also, the eggs and flowers and weird face collage on the front found me searching for the proper adjectives and all I came up with were adverbs, so I had to start over. In doing so, I admired the cover. I’m not sure it’s not trying to kill me with its gaze.

Nothing here is normal, and that’s as it should be – the Krekso gang warps the hell out of a litany of instruments and hardware: piano, synths, harmonium, guitar, “objects,” tape echo, trumpet, clarinet, trumpinet, electronics, and the stuttering spoken vocals of Agnes Hvizdalek herself. The chaos is breathtaking, yet each piece here picks you up within it like a benevolent twister and twirls your perspective before gently setting you back down. It’s a tactile experience, clearly homespun and labored over, yet freewheeling enough to surprise you almost as often as each second moves to the next. As such, STRICTLY AKUSTIC came out of nowhere for me, but it will certainly find its place among my “repeat listens” pile. Which, sadly, is enormous. Or not sadly, depending on how you look at it. Darn adverbs…


--Ryan Masteller