Although this is Derek Piotr’s fifth studio album, Bahar is his first on electronica label Bit-Phalanx. Known for his abstract compositions exploring the human voice’s relationship with electronically-produced beats, for the first time Piotr injects his classical training into his solo work and added an instrumental element by utlising four woodwind players. The result is typically experimental for Piotr that requires commitment to his glitchy, abstract sound. If you’re willing to be part of that experiment, you’ll find Piotr’s electronic music laboratory is full of fascinating specimens.
Piotr’s haunting vocal delivery – a fragile constant on _Bahar – is wrapped around various configurations of sounds. On “Sprawl” the slow tapping of beats evolves with chilling strings before the wind instruments arrive to settle the mood. On “Tone Offering” the beats are deconstructed into a glitch mash-up while on the eight-minute “Sunlight, Fruit Trees” is like Piotr is dialling some cryptic telecom interchange which returns with the mechanical static of a wrong number. Check out the Christian Kleine remix of the latter for an even more twisted response.
The charm of Piotr’s music must be derived from a love of expanding your musical palate – there are few constructs here that have been heard before – and that makes him something of a maverick producer. Unhook the lab coat and don your safety goggles if you’re keen to experience Piotr’s melting pot of the natural and synthetic: there may be a big bang effect on your ear drums.