Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Kroke - Out of Sight

I first became aware of Kroke's music through the album "East Meets East" a superb timeless set released in 2003 in which they collaborated with mockney violinist Nigel Kennedy, The album was for me is an absolute triumph and introduced to me this extremely talented Polish group.

Formed in Krakow, Poland in the early 90s, originally a trio, consisting of double bass, accordion, violin, before expanded to a quartet by adding a drummer/percussionist. Originally a Klezmer band, performing "standards" but also writing and performing original compositions, you can almost smell and feel the vibes of being in Kazimierz, the old Jewish distinct of Krakow. I once got very lost there in the fog, but due to my excellent navigational skills found my way out and back to my hotel unscathed.

Anyways, "Out Of Sight" is Kroke's seventh album - not including two live albums "Live At The Pit" and "Quartet - Live At Home". In truth, anyone who has albums like "Eden" and or "Trio" will not have any real need for this. Kroke's sound has changed over the years, but this album is not a good example of it - for that you should check out "The Sounds Of The Vanishing World" or "Ten Pieces To Save The World". For me. this set borders on tedious and some tracks are just plain annoying. I just can't put my finger on it. It's a combination of too much vocals/wailing and unnecessary whistling and musically, in part, it's almost like a bad parody of themselves. Without breaking down each tracks, there are three or four good ones on here, but not enough to recommend because there is nothing new or remotely inspiring on this album.

Criticisms aside, Kroke are still truly remarkable musicians and I urge you to seek out their music and catch them live if you can.

For sound clips from "Out Of Time". Check Kroke's website here.


  1. Interesting review my friend. I have not heard this album yet but their last CD was predominantly self-indulgent doodlings that never hit the spot except for one track. Their early CDs are magnificent but it seems like Kroke have the lost the plot now and become some kind of prog-klezmer nastiness. Can't believe how much they've fallen although the last time I saw them live (about 2005), some of the gig was very very tedious indeed.

  2. I've just a listen to the sound samples. The first few tracks seem an improvement on the previous album but then it starts to rapidly decline after that. I'm not going to buy it, and I will stick with the few CDs I already own on Kroke.

  3. The intro's on some of the tracks are very good, but then after a minute or so, they take a turn for the worse.