AMN Reviews: Stukot – Transitions (2022; Bandcamp)

Synth-based drones have been commonplace for 50 years. But organic drones – made with instruments that are not obviously associated with drone-based music – can be just as compelling due to their raw and natural qualities. Enter Szymon Witecki, who uses the stage name of Stukot when recording. A drummer, he employs sticks, brushes, and mallets to evoke rhythmic structures and themes that are in the rock vein, perhaps with a hint of classical.

But what Witecki adds to the mix on Transitions is a mini electric piano that he played simultaneously with his kit. (How? Not sure…) These piano elements were not melodies or chords in the usual sense. Instead, Witecki put the instrument’s output through delay and reverb to create the aforementioned drones. This was all done live in the studio and the result is just short of 33 minutes.

Witecki manages to get the electronic piano to drone alternatively like low-end piano chords, synth, and even a string section. These layers are dark and moody, even as his drumming can be propulsive in a contrasting sense. Indeed, the beginning of the second of Transitions ‘ two long tracks is a heady drum solo over the melancholy ebb and flow of processed piano. The specific combination of these sound sources is rather unique – refreshing in its conceptual simplicity and yet achieving a surprising level of depth. Highly recommended.