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Michał Jacaszek, who primarily records under his last name, is a Polish musician and producer who composes eerie electro-acoustic soundscapes, as well as music for film and theatrical works. First appearing as a solo artist with the left-field miniatures of 2004's Lo-Fi Stories, his sound changed dramatically with 2008's Treny, an album of delicate, sorrowful string arrangements and ethereal vocals threaded together by electronic glitches. Subsequent releases have incorporated Baroque instrumentation (Glimmer, 2011) and poetic lyrics (Kwiaty, 2017), while 2020's Music for Film is a brief sampling of his extensive work for cinema. Jacaszek debuted in 2004 with Lo-Fi Stories, an instrumental album full of quirky melodies and samples over unpredictable electronic rhythms. He additionally released two albums with singer and poet Miłka Malzahn. As he continued to record throughout the decade, his sound gradually became more understated and subdued, though surges in aggression and noise were not completely eliminated. Norwegian label Miasmah released Jacaszek's haunting 2008 album Treny, which received much acclaim, garnering comparisons to artists like Tim Hecker and William Basinski. This was followed by 2009's Pentral, which was partially recorded in three historic churches in Gdańsk, Poland. In early 2011, Jacaszek began an association with Ghostly International by appearing on the label's SMM: Context compilation beside ambient contemporaries such as Leyland Kirby, Svarte Grenier, and Rafael Anton Irisarri. Toward the end of the year, he released his first Ghostly album, Glimmer. In 2013, Narodowe Centrum Kultury (National Center for Culture) released Piesni, Jacaszek's interpretations of traditional Polish church songs. The following year, Touch released Catalogue des Arbres, Jacaszek's collaboration with contemporary music quartet Kwartludium. Jacaszek returned to Ghostly in 2017 with Kwiaty, a vocal-driven album inspired by 17th century metaphysical poetry. Bramy Nieba, with choral ensemble Vocal Varshe, was released in 2018, and won the Grand Prix award at that year's Nowa Tradycja Festival. That October, Jacaszek participated in a performance in commemoration of the victims of the Stutthof concentration camp, held at the Stutthof Museum. A studio recording of the piece was released as Stutthof: Apel Cieni. Music for Film, containing pieces composed for dramas and documentaries over the previous dozen years, was issued by Ghostly in 2020.
© Andy Kellman & Paul Simpson /TiVo
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