You can safely say that the type of music that Wilhelm Bras creates is unusual not only for Poland. In order to create his unconventional sound, he uses synthesizers both designed and made by himself. He uses them to create beats in the realm of club techno music, although very lively: rough, susceptible to accidental sounds, utilizing that aspect to the fullest.
He introduces avant garde and noise to the club scene. He plays concerts in the dark and lights up his ‘work place’ with only a headlamp.
Behind the stage name Wilhelm Bras is Paweł Kulczyński, a visual and sound artist, a graphic designer and producer. He also appears under the name Tropajn or Lautbild. When performing live, he likes to experiment not only with the instrumentarium, but also with the whole sound system and the acoustic possibilities of the given space as well as its social context. He explains his multiple artistic personas in an interview:
Wilhelm Bras is a gesture toward techno and beats, although rather unique, Paweł Kulczyński creates/makes everything and here I have complete freedom, Tropajn on the other hand holds a guitar in his hands, but one infected with glitch and noise.
In turn, Lautbild Ąma, his most recent project has broken its ties with harsh beats, bringing soothing and cheesy sounds to the table. However, he is only partially successful at this, and mainly accomplishes this due to abandoning his hand-made instrumentarium. Of course, what Kulczyński perceives as light, easy, pleasant and catchy is not exactly how his audience sees it. That is why Lautbild is considered avant garde.
Paweł Kulczyński was born in 1978, he lives and works in Gliwice. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice and ever since 2005, he has been collaborating with the Kronika gallery in Bytom. On a day to day basis, he works as a graphic designer. He writes about himself: ‘A lover of extreme sounds. Interested in the social and spatial context of music, the phenomenology of the audiosphere and acoustics, random phenomena, conceptualism, laziness and boredom, false appearances and psychedelia. He uses a variety of different tools: DIY electronics, video, photography, he makes installations and instruments.’
In Wilhelm Bras’s music one of the most crucial aspects is its unpredictability. The ones attending his concerts can count on this. Not only will there be a simple rhythm encouraging you to dance but also an uncontrollable buzzing and grinding, the throbbing of a machine trying to spiral out of the artists control. His debut album Wordless Songs By The Electric Fire in 2013 had a lot of this concert coarseness. Kulczyński himself admitted that this club rhythm is just a means to reach a wider audience with his avant garde music.
He spent two years working on his second album entitled Visionaries & Vagabonds. The ideas he had prepared in the studio were put to a test in front of an audience and modified during his concerts and afterwards. He created the studio versions over a very long period of time. Due to all of this, his second album has the details polished up to perfection with a much greater saturation than during his live performances.
Analog synthesizers allow the artist to create a very natural, organic timbre, that along with the polyrhythmic implementation, brings the material from the second album closer to a club scenario. On the other hand, this step into dance music is very beautiful, colorful, avant garde. Wilhelm Bras is an exceptionally original artist, who has reached such heights with this second album that he’ll make your head spin. We can only hope he hasn’t said all he has to say just yet and that he’ll find themes he wants to pursue in his next albums.
Wilhelm Bras has performed at such festivals as CTM in Berlin, Unsound in Cracow and New York, Off in Katowice, Tauron Nowa Muzyka in Katowice, Art Meetings in Kiev, as well as in other cities such as Prague, Budapest, Bucharest and the Czech Žilina.
- Wordless Songs By The Electric Fire
The artists official website: http://wilhelmbras.com
Author: Jacek Świąder, May 2015, Translated by: Zuzanna Wiśniewska