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KOPERNIK as an ensemble - named after Nicolaus Copernicus (Kopernik in his native Polish) father of the Western model of heliocentricity and contributor to the way modern man views time and cycle - shares with the astronomer, not only a name, but the weight and gravity of carrying around town in their heads an undeniable discovery about the nature of how shit works: an uncovering of things constant, the recognition of a "new" silent authority around which we've always floated. KOPERNIK is the collaboration of BRAD LEWIS (owner of Pearineel Records, and of the band The Sight-Seers) on computer and TIM DELANEY (contributor to groups like Savath + Savalas, The Sight-Seers) on upright bass. The two Atlanta natives began their aesthetic and working relationship in college in Florida where they studied theater (LEWIS) and music composition (DELANEY) an accomplished acoustic bassist since the age of ten and taught by his grandmother ("Tim's grandmother rips on the upright too!"). It was at that time that their collaborations with other musicians laid the foundations for The Sight-Seers, an ensemble rolling out eclectic pop-rock and ambient recordings (some of which were used as the sonic foundations of DELAROSA + ASORA's, aka Scott Herren, Crush the Sight-Seers EP).
LEWIS and DELANEY began the studio sessions that became KOPERNIK in the Fall of 2001. "We wanted to do something together that was completely fresh and challenging for us, and a departure from the ordinary song/beat-based structure." LEWIS explains, "The pieces are slowly built-up off of my initial abstracts of both organic and synthetic sounds, with an equally abstract narrative in mind. Then, Tim comes in and adds new melodies, chord stacks and strong but supple bass lines to the original themes and phrases. Finally, after adding a few highlights and accents, we both step back and strip the piece down in layers, sometimes revealing new simpler and chance discoveries… new colors." The result of this additive/subtractive "crushing", as LEWIS calls it, is a music that avoids over-extension, lacking decadence and avoiding ambient clichés, and instead, through a narrowing of means, brings only the sounds and colors which are indispensable. And lest this sounds like an exercise in navel-gazing studio geekery - like so much discursive studio and digital masturbatia commonly produced, their live performances resound with just as much solidity, strength, and fire: you most definitely need to hear these cats live! Musically, the recordings have their foundations in modern avant-garde composition - Gorecki, Barber, and even at times Penderecki.
You may be reminded of the sweet melancholy of New German Cinema soundtracks (Popol Vüh, Jürgen Knieper). But on top of the same sense of breathing and pregnant space found in the works of these composers, KOPERNIK builds a burning playfulness and thoughtful hesitation - deconstruction – that speak more of electronic influences like vintage electro-ambient recordings, and the far-reaching fusion jazz of the 70's, Terje Rypdal, Eno (think Discreet Music), and Mahavishnu Orchestra. These recordings were created in the winter of 2001 and are decisively winter pieces. Not in that they are cold or barren, but rather because they seem to symbolize the self-intiated activation of one's own energy, imagination and passion that the barrenness and stillness of winter seems to demand. KOPERNIK provides a narrative about the process of discovery, terrae incognitae, new worlds and insights, told by the discoverer himself, without arrogance or exaggeration - there can be no arrogance regarding discovery when one realizes that the Discovered (uncovered thing) was and is actually a constant, and for the sharing of the Everyman. No flags posted, no proud-ass colonialist stance with fists on hips, shining chin, and one leg propped up high on new rock – you know the pose - not even a loud summons for an audience. But rather, what is left in KOPERNIK's discovery is the genuine interest that listeners are able to take good from something constant: an archetypal, prescient and trans-lingual source of our breathing.
This record embodies something that we love at EASTERN DEVELOPMENTS MUSIC, the same universal property that we hope has been and will be common to all of our future releases: an absolutely magical and positive Presence. A capacity to hold the listener, whether through hard-ass beat or through flowing phrase, in a mutual stare that is at once loving, respectful, intrigued, and ultimately Human: simple.