Lights Dim‘s Marek Kaminski is well known to many of our readers by sound, although perhaps not by name. He’s also part of the post-rock ensemble New Century Classics, whose classically-influenced recordings have set them well ahead of their peers. Kaminski applies this influence to his new solo material, which may be short by design (part of Audio Gourmet’s tea break series) but is better defined as compact.
Deep Summer is a perfect way to launch the new summer, as it possesses the carefree sheen of the season but is so well mixed as to seem fully in the moment. A trio of tracks that work well as one, Deep Summer makes one yearn for the beach towels and cooler-packed picnics, even if the warmest days have not yet arrived. And what better way to end the sneak peek than with fireworks? (Ironically, this makes three releases of recent days – Seaside Sounds, Omiyage and Deep Summer – to end in this fashion, although we don’t mind the excitement.)
Kaminski’s intent was to create the soundtrack to an “urban summer day” in the first two tracks and the calm of nightfall in the third. As the artist is based in Krakow, we can understand the association; but as someone who lives near the beach, I can attest that the music morphs to fit its surroundings. “Under the Sun” may have been composed to sound oppressive, but it comes across as languid: a sunbather’s anthem, rather than a dayworker’s lament. The crunching backdrop may imply to one listener the tedium of office machines, but to this listener, it implies the peaceful munching of brine shrimp. In like fashion, “Dust in the Air” shimmers like a heat mirage or laps like waves, depending on one’s perspective. Do the intended associations matter? Not particularly; either way, this EP sounds like summer. And everyone can relate to the joy of fireworks, which decorate the exuberant “Parades”. Now everyone’s day, worker and vacationer alike, is drawing to a close, and the comfort of communal celebration can be shared. The chords grow brighter, the notes rise higher, the earth passes closer to the sun. (Richard Allen)