Piotr Kurek has always worked with palettes outside of the expected. World Speaks continues following this uncharted path, using a swirled mix of voices, organs, and reeds to capture something profoundly human. That World Speaks finds a home on Lieven Martens’ Edições CN, another artist that has created his own gravity and orbit, makes a lot of sense. Slices of unforgettable landscapes are pieced together, becoming a new kind of post-sentient environment we can mold from our own memories.
When World Speaks opens with a dissonant choir of disembodies voices on “Chordists,” a woozy feeling takes hold. It’s like traveling through a wormhole, disorienting but exciting as Kurek explores these unheard sonic valleys. “A Source of all Scenery” goes into even stranger locales where trees are pastel and rivers flow backward. Everything is familiar, but off. Kurek mentions that a set of Thomas Cole paintings he has as his computer wallpaper “soaked into this material,” but it’s clear that those landscapes have been filtered through an alien prism.
There are passages dotted throughout World Speaks that are pastoral and even whimsical. Anachrnostic carnivals come to life on the enchanting “Key & Stop,” a codified organ vagary that bops along with purpose. That spirit is bent into moonlit shapes but still imbued with a gossamer twinge on “Orgue” where Kurek twists the organ-soaked architecture into a droning heap of smoldering brass. It’s the festival after all the lights have been turned off and the real apparitions let down their hair. It puts a phantom exclamation on this wonderful, strange trip World Speaks takes us on.
For over a decade, Piotr Kurek has been searching for new places to plant seeds. Each of his albums are their own fantastical worlds built around organic sonic architecture and bizarre soundscapes, but always with an open heart that exudes warmth and fascination. World Speaks keeps this feeling alive but adds an unexpected, blunt human character. Kurek isn’t settled and each new missive sent back from his explorations is a real gift.