CD, Warsztat8r Record Label, 2008
Bartek Kujawski, the artist formerly known as 8rolek, has conceived and developed an intricate set of musical works in the form of “Murlull Movies”, his first solo project – and a vastly different approach than anything he’s done before.
Previous releases, under the name 8rolek, were fairly straightforward, rhythmic dance constructions – not so with this. Here, Bartek Kujawski provides evidence of a deeper understanding of composition and arrangement, as well as a more profound sense of mood. In many ways, this makes it comparable to modern classical orchestration – but with a far less conventional array of instrumentation. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, easy music to listen to, however: “Murlull Movies” is an intricate, abstract collage of the unexpected. Each of the eight individual tracks, while interesting, lack the impact that the album, when listened to as a holistic entity, has. It’s as if “Murlull Movies” tells a complex story using simple structures, but all context is lost when fragmented into smaller segments.
If forced to make a decision, the final track, “Onion Tears”, a ten-minute, five-part odyssey, is the highlight of the album – but even then, only from a technical point of view. The emotional charge that would have been built up by the preceding twenty-six minutes is dissipated somewhat by placing the track in isolation.
“Murlull Movies” is serious, considered music and should be approached as such. At first it may come across as any other experimental electronica – but subsequent listening reveals a depth that many other artists fail to achieve. It’s clever, fairly unique in its symphonic methodology, and worth the effort. Sadly, the greatest negative criticism the album faces is that it remains doubtful whether, in this disposable, instant gratification society, if your average consumer will be willing to spend the necessary time getting to know Bartek Kujawski – who here has proven that he has grown up and is making music that stimulates far more than just the ears.
— David vander Merwe