Very agreeable instrumental music from Slalom, an unusual and talented combo from Warsaw. Their Wunderkamera (LADO ABC Lado A/15) contains 8 tunes, one with added vocals from guest singer Joanna Halszka Sokołowska, performed by the core trio of drumer Hubert Zemler, synth player Bartosz Weber, and the star lead guitarist and synth player Bartłomiej Tyciński. Mostly they play a quirky, upbeat brand of synth and guitar based rock, but with the additional bonus of tricky, offbeat time signatures which require Zemler to keep a close eye on the changes. A lot of the pleasure comes from their slightly odd sound, in particular the slide guitar of Tyciński – on ‘Hippo’s Early Comeback’, we might be hearing an updated version of Gong with Steve Hillage circa 1973. And the multiple synth barrages and pile-ups, nearly spinning out of control on tracks like ‘Waterpecker’, do contribute to the album’s sense of zaniness and wacky fun. The cover, featuring a detail from Ole Worm’s 17th century cabinet of curiosities, leads us to think Slalom may have more depth than they actually do, and song titles such as ‘Animalium Partes in Ut Maidor’ or ‘The Murmansk Dragon’ continue the esoteric undercurrents to some degree, but ultimately Slalom are not especially experimental in their approach, and don’t have a great deal to say to us. Nevertheless, their assured playing and rollicking rhythms make this a very enjoyable and entertaining spin. From February 2016.

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