Experimentation and roots, wood and metal, guitars and synthesizers, and a tireless search inside the most intrinsic of human feelings: Ole Koretsky is back with an EP made up of five songs in which he opens the doors of his inner world and invites us to accompany him on an incredible journey towards acceptance and learning. It could be said that, as a whole, this EP could be classified within the dark-wave genre, (it had to be DARK!), but taking a deeper look at it, each of the songs evokes a different state of mind or feeling and, in our opinion, there is an implicit movement that makes this music the perfect company for driving alone.
1. The One.
A song with a very melancholic, even reflective feeling, which begins with some chords and light percussions with a strong reverb. Olé’s voice, in its lowest tones, is able to transport us into introspection. An introspection that, together with the lyrics, makes us wonder if you are really who you are expected to be, if you are good enough for somebody (“I’m not the way for you”, “I’m not the hope you need”). One may identify a kind of a feeling of disappointment with oneself, and at the same time, a desire to feel loved and to find that something you need, or someone to guide you (“look in my eyes and tell me that I’m yours”).
The central and final parts, almost completely instrumental, could well serve as a fascinating soundtrack for a movie or series (it makes us think of the “Dark” series – again D.A.R.K.!).
The track ends with an accumulation of sound elements, first chords, then an arpeggiated theme that is repeated in a loop, Olé’s voice reappears together with a new synthesizer melody, and everything is mixed in a very effective volume increase that comes to its end in a sudden manner, leaving the listener alone with the soft arpeggio and that unmistakable recording sound that evokes and transports us to those rainy afternoons in the 90’s when we took refuge in the solitude of our rooms while listening to old cassettes.
2. Signs of Life
Without any sight of doubt, this is the jewel in the crown in this EP. A duet song with TinaKristina, whose voice, soft and pleasant, contrasts with the rawness of the lyrics; feelings so inner that it sometimes becomes too difficult to find the words to express them. It could be said that this contrast is what makes this track so special, along with the lead melody, that is incredibly catchy.
It begins with the sound of a guitar that establishes the base rhythm in which the whole theme is sustained to give way to TinaKristina’s outstanding voice, which in its lowest register presents a unique voice quality.
During the stanza, both in music, lyrics and voice, there is a feeling of loneliness and dark melancholy (“I need you now, now more than ever”), which changes in the chorus to reappear brighter and more hopeful , where Olé’s voice joins the main vocals.
The bridge introduces one more contrast, it is actually so different that it could seem as part of another song, and be even used in other genres.
Personally, I would have liked if the lyrics changed at the end (“There’s something here, a sign of life”), thus it would have better matched that ray of light and hope that can be seen in the tune and in its instrumental, almost danceable ending. But perhaps, it would have been very predictable, so we will have to settle for the real title, which is in the affirmative mode, leaving the listener the possibility of that second interpretation 😉
3. Call it a Day
Due to the prominence of the instruments of “Call it a Day” it can be said that it tends towards a more alternative rock style, with a heavier presence of bass and guitar, and drums with that reverb that is so reminiscent of the sound of the eighties.
The low tessitura of Olé’s voice brings us reminiscences of Depeche Mode, especially during the stanzas, although in turn, it is perhaps the track that most closely resembles Koretsky’s previous work, a fact that has made this song a fans’ favorite . A truly fascinating song in which each element plays an essential role, with a mesmerizing guitar line that remains unaltered by any changes in rhythm, feedback and the introduction of new elements. The way the drums breaks in at 1.34 is really emotion-evoking. Unlike the previously mentioned songs, “Call it a Day” transmits a feeling of willing to escape, of seeking self-isolation trying to find something that feels like already lost or unattainable (“I’m gonna walk away ”).
The backing vocals attain a main role in the chorus, as well as the omnipresence of the arpeggio, this time in a synthesizer, which leaves the guitar in middle-ground.
A song that, along with “Signs of Life”, could very well have been part of DARK’s second album, and that, as its video clip shows, is a perfect choice for listening while on the move, driving at night, for example.
Having again as a central theme the need to escape and change an inescapable destiny, the fourth track of this EP is undoubtedly the most experimental and electronic of the five jewels that conforms MMXX.
It starts with that haunting arpeggio, this time high-pitched, that loops through to give way to a rhythmic, robotic voice. We also find other types of contrasting sounds and effects from the chorus (it is surprising to hear some clapping, a sound so human and natural in the middle of a sea of electronics), and in the central part of the song (from 1.42 to 2.14), my favorite, in which the guitar is heard in the background and Olé experiments with echoes and different voices. The song ends paradoxically with an endless echo.
5. Nothing compares to you
The EP ends with a melancholic, heartbreaking version of Nothing Compares to you, originally written by Prince and popularised by Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor. Powerful riffs and percussions that instead of lashing out forcefully, they are heard in a rhythmic and constant way, as if trying to hold a broken soul that no longer has the strength to stand and carry on. A grand finale for an EP that sounds like a channeling very deep feelings, a search for acceptance, a long-awaited inner peace and a halo of hope in times when they are very much needed, but at the same time, keeping in mind that nothing compares to what we once had.
From this website, we wish, from the bottom of our hearts, that this project carries on and, maybe one day, to have it in physical format, something that will delight music and vinyl lovers, because MMXX is not music to listen to in the background; MMXX invites to introspection and reflection, understanding of our own feelings in order to express them and thus achieve resilience, without losing sight of that light that is still alive and beaming, and that, perhaps, was never really gone. But at the moment, you can play or download these wonderful songs in the link below: