Alapastel – Hidden For The Eyes

alapastelThis is the Slovakian Lukáš Bulko’s debut album. That hot off the presses, baby’s bottom, first press, hot pan, crisp type of shit. If it was any fresher, it’d be steaming. But, when you put it on, you’re not watching someone on a tricycle or listening to someone unintelligibly babbling. Something went on here. Years of labour in a nice easy progression. A firm grasp of idea, genre, and style. A waiting that generally comes only with experience, maturity, and confidence. Most motherfuckers unload their shit onto your lap half-formed, give you their best shit-eating grin, and hope their good looks and charm are enough to get them by; but not Lukáš. Lukáš took his fucking time. Cause, despite this being his first time, Lukáš can fuck. 

Damn right.

As far as style goes, this shit goes deep into that early ’00s Icelandic movement. It’s Múm with less childishness, Sigur Rós with less church, Max Richter with less schooling, and Nils Frahm without the machines. If I had to put my writing on the wall in terms of genre? Sigh … it’s Electroacoustic Neo-Classical. But I hate this definition with a passion. No parent is happy when their child tells them, “Mom, dad, I wanna be an electro-acoustician!” A what, motherfucker? What did you just call me?

So, why do I hate this definition? Somewhere along the way it became synonymous with laziness. And I understand why. I get it. I’ve heard that shit. Pick a preset string sound on a Casio keyboard, hold down a major chord, and let that shit ring out for an hour. “But,” some 80 pound undergrad says while readjusting his oversized Buddy Holly glasses, “sound doesn’t require talent.” First off, dude-I-made-up-but-is-totally-based-on-a-real-person, sure, it’s not required. But I sure as fuck would appreciate it. Because there are people like Lukáš that work really fucking hard. They include unique sounding singers and solid arrangements behind months of planning and hard work. In their layers you can hear the late nights, the breakthroughs, and the plateaus, all in the pursuit of a personal and intimate sounding record. And it’s a fucking shame when these efforts disappear into a pile of ostentatious indolence that smells exactly like yesterday’s salmon rolls coming out the back end of a ballsy cow.

In the days where mountains of music are released daily, it’s easy to lose direction. It’s even easier to give up and just take whatever is handed out first. But don’t give up, keep digging. Cause those good tunes are still out there. It’s just that, sometimes, they happen to be under a huge pile of fishy bullshit. 


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