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Polinski - Labyrinths

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 11 / 10 / 2011

Polinski - Labyrinths
Label: Monotreme Records
Format: CD


Fabulous debut album from Polinski, the solo project of 65daysofstatic's Paul Wolinski, which merges its twin influences of science fiction and vintage 1980's electronica to first-rate effect

This is the debut album by Paul Wolinski from 65daysofstatic. The first photograph I ever had of my now husband is him and Paul Wolinski making the universal rock hand gesture in a slightly beaten up and grubby (aka fabulous) Sheffield 'nite spot' in the dim and distant past of university. From what I can remember Wolinski was good at micro machines and increasingly involved in his band. I had several friends in bands at uni. I endured a lot of gigs. Not many of them ended up playing Madison Square gardens. He describes Labyrinths as "basically an album I daydreamed of writing back when I was 15 and just learning how to program MIDI...lots of beats and distortion and piano and big melodies, with a dance-y toughness." The press release ends with the following epitaph: "Labyrinths may not be able to tell you how existence feels, but it can let you hear it. And some things are better left unsaid. If this sounds heavy, then it is, but that would sell short the upbeat nature of Polinski's current output. We may be headed for a black hole, but we may as well dance as the planets explode." A bit superficially deep, huh? A slightly more polished version of Madness' 'Fuck Art - Let's Dance' maybe. Is this life changing or a dance record? Opener '1985 - Quest' is a tune made from ZX Spectrums and coin op games. It has power and strength and a requisite introspective pause when it looks like our hero of choice may be the vanquished rather than the vanquisher. A superb opener and my favourite track. 'Stitches' continues in a similar vein. While there are some similarities to a 65days album their preference for more guitar and drum sounds have been toned down or removed entirely in favour of synth. The album manages to catch the essence of 1980's electronics and science fiction but still sound bang up to date. Labyrinths is only seven tracks long but with 'Kressyda' coming in at just over eleven and a half minutes long, you get plenty of bang for your buck. That track takes its time, adding layer after layer of sound and evolving from piano heavy and chilled to heavier techno and onwards. Like an arcade game working from level to level and heading towards a big climactic battle to the death. The only really weak track is 'Still Looking' which would not sound out of place in any common or garden 'Ibiza Choons' mix. Overall this is a solid and well thought out album. Occasionally the beat repetition is in danger of tipping the balance from hypnotic to boring but such instances are rare. Debuting your own sound which is similar to the band you are know for yet different enough is a hard line to tread as many artists find when attempting to go solo. Polinski has straddled this gap.

Track Listing:-
1 1985-Quest
2 Stitches
3 Tangents
4 Still Looking
5 Like Fireflies
6 Kressyda
7 Awaltzoflight

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