[4 March 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Hera is a Polish jazz band and Seven Lines finds them onstage, joining forces with Chicago percussionist Hamid Drake. Whether or not Drake brought an extra kick in the pants to these guys in unclear and irrelevant. Seven Lines is a monster. The two-reed attack of Wacław Zimpel and Paweł Postaremczak is good enough for a minimum amount of attention. But Drake and Hera percussionist Paweł Szpura wax intuitive together, sliding in and out of the blob. And while the clarinets, saxophones and harmoniums are pulling the pieces in one direction, the strings are pulling them in another—all three of them. Raphael Rogiński is on guitar, Ksawery Wójciński on the double bass and Maciek Cierliński on the hurdy-gurdy. Yep, jazz from Poland played on a hurdy gurdy. Ever thought you’d read a sentence like that? Speaking for myself, I’m glad I’ve arrived here. This is murky, transitory stuff that forms parasites between your earbuds and your ears. It’s rough, atonal and confrontational. But at the same time, you can’t turn away from it. There’s too much awe to go around for it to be just noise.