Today I’m listening to and reviewing Jakub Zytecki’s solo music. He may be known as the guitarist in prodigal Polish progressive metal act Disperse. February 23, 2018 will see the release of Jakub’s “Feather Bed / Ladder Head,” a physical release of two previously-digitally-released EPs (7/18/2017 & 12/15/2017 respectively).
Don’t fret, there is plenty of slithering guitar happening here. If you are looking for djenty-metalisms or balls-n-chunk syncopation you will want to look elsewhere. In my option, these recordings are all about melodies, atmospheres & emotions; plus the production values used to evoke such concepts.
I remember checking out Steve Vai and Eric Johnson at the same time (almost thirty years ago!) and being intrigued by their styles. Jakub incorporates attributes of both guitarist while also having his own identifiable style. The guitar tones here are clear and hide nothing; you can hear the slides, the sweeps, the taps, and the harmonics.
These songs are all about the songs, not that one solo or that one riff. There is a thickness to the compositions, but not in a sickly-sweet way. That’s not to say there aren’t some incredible solos here. There are programmed drums when necessary, massive reverb when it suits the song, double tracked guitars on occasion, only a few (wonderful) vocals, features of electronic music/sampling used for shading and enrichment of the atmosphere. Can something be thick and weightless? That’s what this is. I’m reminded of how I feel about Vai’s Flexible: I love it but I also know what comes next (Passion and Warfare, of course).
These tracks don’t scream “I’m a guitar player in a prog-metal band!” These tracks politely ask “why don’t you put on your headphones and check this out?’ There are funk and electronica rhythms, some lo-fi alternative rock, and multi-tracked collages of sound. These songs are many things, not only one tired genre.
And the end of Feather Bed/Ladder Head, I want two things: 1) to hit repeat and 2) to listen to Disperse. That’s a pretty awesome result from a couple EPs.
Side One – Feather Bed
- The Drum
- Feather Bed
- Per Fley
Side Two – Ladder Head
- Ladder Head
- As You Are