Cartoonist Mirek Kemel certainly has a lot of work to do lately. There are a lot of bad guys that can be hit by a striking drawing, and it doesn’t seem that the influx of ideas has stopped. It is therefore admirable that he also found space for music. “Wolf Tracks” is Kemel’s fourth album and this time it’s very different.
Three years ago, Mirek Kemel and his band released a very successful album “Fish, Crayfish”, a year later his song “Behind Our Barn” sounded under the final titles of the television miniseries “Waterman” directed by Viktor Tauš. And Petr Ostrouchov, a producer and composer who has been heard more and more recently, also composed music for the same series. And almost that, with a bit of exaggeration, looks like what he touches turns to gold. Examples? Albums “I’ll meet you once” and “Night painting” by Vladimír Mišík or last year’s “Greek” by Lenka Dusilová.
And it was in his hands that Kemel surrendered this time. He left at home her backing band (except for guest Vladimír Javorský, but he only took care of the backing vocals) and was replaced by Blue Shadows, Ostrouchov’s regular collaborators. Logically, the sound also changed – it lost a certain pleasant thing pub whose shingles attributes. “Wolf tracks” sound smooth, standing on acoustic guitars, soft drums, double bass and electric guitar passes, which diversify occasional loops or a light touch of electronics. Functional, clever accompaniment, recognizably in the spirit of Blue Shadows. I can’t shake the impression that an accompanying band has appeared here, after veterans from Etc … whose sound is so characteristic, but at the same time humble, that it serves various performers and at the same time forms the mainstay of the musical landscape. However, Mirek Kemel is important. Ostrouchov always could tailor an album tailored to the singer and this work is no exception. The lyrics, except for one set-to-death poem by Jiří Orten, are exclusively Kemel’s and cling to the melancholic level. Distinctive natural motifs and symbolism of strong poetic paintings are still returning (“Kingfisher”, “Birds are burning”), as if this time the author and singer in one person turned more to the people themselves, to the small stories that accompany those ordinary lives. He masterfully mastered the art of acronyms – which, moreover, he hones in his work as a cartoonist. The song “Carrot Cake” outlines the relationship between old and young people in a few precisely targeted words, and in general how life runs away, “Apartment for Sale” describes the sad story of one apartment, “Dream” and the melancholy of life and childhood memories. Sadness and melancholy are actually the main emotions of the whole collection, and unlike the previous one, this darkened (but beautiful!) Surface is not ripped up by any pleasures such as “Dolls” three years ago. Although maybe it would take at least a little light into this twilight…
On the other hand, the slow-moving recording has the magic to envelop the listener. Mirek Kemel was never, no matter what he did, first. “Wolf tracks” deserve attentive listening. Words have content, they are not just empty metaphors, and although the whole seems musically simple, the repetition of thoughtfulness and multi-layered arrangements will emerge and begin to emerge. unexpectedly hits – such as graded folklore “Birds are burning”, a distinctive “Wolf” or a hopeful “Spring”. These are the imaginary gates to these autumn gardens. In each of them there is a story that is a pleasure to listen to.
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REVIEW: Mirek Kemel is more smooth-sounding on the album “Vlčí stopy”, but he didn’t lose his face