N. AE. – Katharsis

N. AE. - Katharsis LP front cover
N. AE. - Katharsis LP back cove
N. AE. - Katharsis LP liner notes
N. AE. - Katharsis LP side B

Polish keyboard and guitar player Czesław Niemen (1939-2004) formed the short-lived progressive rock band Niemen Aerolit in 1974. The death of drummer Piotr Dziemski in 1975 put an end to the group and Niemen embarked in solo projects that led him to a successful career as a rock musician and folk singer during the 1970s and ’80s.

Katharsis, released 1975 under the N.AE. moniker, is one of his more experimental efforts, an electronic concept album entirely composed on vintage synthesizers like Moog, Mellotron and EMS. Some tracks come from the music for a stage play after Romantic poet Juliusz Słowacki (3, 4 and 8). Two tracks only have lyrics, the closing Epitafium/Pamieci Piotra, or Epitaph/In Memory of Piotr, an homage to drummer Dziemski, and #6 Z Listu do M., or From a Letter to M. The instrumentals are short electronic vignettes close to ZNR’s first LP Barricades 3, 1976, or Brian Eno’s Music for Films, 1978, for instance. The CD reissue of Katharsis was posted by several other bloggers, but I thought I would offer a nice analogue rip of this masterpiece.

01 Odkrycie Nowej Galaktyki (2:15)
02 Mleczna Droga (3:16)
03 Planeta Ziemia (6:45)
04 Fatum (2:25)
05 Pieczec (2:54)
06 Z Listu do M. (4:46)
07 Proba Ucieczki (2:40)
08 Katharsis (4:47)
09 Epitafium/Pamieci Piotra (4:05)

Total time 34:00
LP released by Polskie Nagrania Muza, ref. SX 1262, Poland, 1975


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Juliusz Słowacki

6 Responses to “N. AE. – Katharsis”

  1. 1 øשlqæda April 8, 2011 at 8:27 am

    very nice indeed, my friend. digitized lp’s til deth!

  2. 2 continuo April 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Well, there would be no point in digitizing CDs, right?

  3. 3 pan mietek April 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    thanks for posting this one. however, i think things were a bit different from what you write in the first paragraph. Niemen had already been very successful as a singer, first fronting popular r’n’roll bands and then on his own, in the 1960s and early seventies. and i mean VERY successful and popular, his songs such as Strange Is This World are landmarks of Polish popular culture. actually the happenings you are writing about, the death of Dziemski (caused by a drunken doctor, as far as i know), and this LP, were some kind of a turning point for Niemen, who began performing singlehanded rather than with a band, lost much of his popularity – and talent, i’m afraid.
    also, calling Niemen “a keyboard and guitar player” does not seem accurate; he was first and foremost a singer, and a keyboard player as well, with other instruments used only on occasion.

  4. 4 continuo April 9, 2011 at 8:04 am

    You’re right, of course, but I was only introducing the circumstances of the Katharsis LP. The information on Niemen is easy to find on the web. Thanks for your comment.

  5. 5 flageo April 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing guys,

  6. 6 continuo April 11, 2011 at 10:39 am

    You’re welcome.

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