Are You There MYSTIC PRODUCTION
Riverside keyboardist strikes out alone with a chillingly cathartic collection.
Michał Łapaj helps to produce richly emotional material with Polish quartet Riverside so it’s no shock that the keyboard player brings the same atmospheric and melodic elegance to his debut solo album.
Are You There sees Łapaj teaming up with guests such as Antimatter singer Mick Moss, whose gruff yet dejected voice does wonders for the powerful regret of electro-rock elegy Flying Blind, and angelic Sorry Boys vocalist Bela Komoszy´nska, who adds impact to Shelter, an uplifting ballad full of serene synths. Unsurprisingly, there are several standout instrumental passages. Evocative prelude Pieces comprises sparse piano chords and foreboding programmed tones, In Limbo’s otherworldly mix of ambient dissonance, robotic rhythms and intersecting melodic patterns is designed to be the musical equivalent of journeying through Purgatory, albeit in an engaging way.
Not every selection is entirely successful – Where Do We Run meanders around its electronic experimentations too much – but the rest help make Are You There a triumphant debut.