“Invisible End“, a new record by Polish composer Jarek Leskiewicz under the moniker OPOLLO, takes the listener on a journey through vast ambient landscapes, waves of post-shoegaze swirls, doomy drones and sustained chords of introspective melancholy. With a more cinematic feel and conceptual angle than its predecessors, “Invisible End” bends the frontier of the power ambient sub-genre even further. The new offering continues OPOLLO’s musical excursions developed since 2010 and oscillates between vast ambient textures and melancholy that settles blissfully into your brain. What a trip.
“I wrote most of the material during the lockdown/pandemic craze and I was certainly influenced by it (whose creative output wasn’t?).” – says Jarek. “I think frustration was my main (unhealthy) drive. The previous Opollo record, JAFO, was written right before things started to boil up, but it served more as a warning sign, the alarm light blinking.”
“During the isolation I came up with 2 hours worth of music which was quite overwhelming.” – he continues. “After a while I started a process of slow elimination in a quest of trimming it down to the tracks I was the most attached to. Some decisions were painful.”
Asked about his inspirations and the ambient style itself, Jarek admits that he’s not really sure if he makes ambient music anymore. “How I see it goes against its definition.” – he says. “Ambient music for me is just an emotional soundtrack. Intimate music in its most cinematic form. Symphonic and minimal at the same time. Strongly borrowing from avant-garde and experimental… but mostly as canvas and sonic tools. It’s not all meditational for me, it’s much more cathartic.”
The cover art corresponds with some themes and visual moods Jarek tried to evoke with the music on this record. “It has a slightly digital feel which fits with what tools I’ve used this time around.” – he explains. “I also wanted something less abstract and more specific.”
Track by track commentary, by Jarek Leskiewicz:
The Waltz Of Inconvenience – It is one of those tracks that are romantically escapist but also very rooted in the hard reality of the last 2 years. Filled with disillusion about the state of humankind. Living in the age of egoism. The delusion of self-importance. In contrast to all of that there’s also something subtly euphoric about the track. Something uplifting. Gracefully dancing on the edge of a disaster.
Mere Mortal – More of a classic Opollo vibe on this one. Definitely more on the post-rock side while still quite minimal and chill. The alternate title would be “Ancestors”. A reflective glance into the sands of the past. Strongly inspired by architectural fantastic images in my head. The feeling of sensual elevation. Martin Anderson guesting on the delightfully doomy & crunchy bass.
Through City Of Dust – Soundtrack-like piece accompanied by almost trip-hop dubby beat by Dean Garcia. Emotionally neutral voyage through the inner & outer desolation. On this record, I wanted to let the songs take their time and linger on. Some of my favorite parts are the outros.
Invisible End – This title track is a bit different for me. I decided to “compose” it on a synthesizer instead of a guitar. A piece where I probably got too naively emotional. I think I was slightly channeling Caterina Barbieri’s influence. That’s why the smooth, bright synth breeze. Having said that, it’s still full of guitars and very Opollo-alike.
Barrier Mountains – The stronghold of obstacles. The heartless giant. A track where we (me and Martin) got more experimental. Mixing gritty dark ambient with futuristic doom. I think it worked. Filippo Gaetani played some extra-terrestrial synthesizer on it.
You Don’t Know Me – My friend called it the “weird” track…and I can understand why. There is an eerie atmosphere going on. A piece that’s drenched in bitter apathy and the numbing realization about the true self. I layered this one quite a lot. There are some random CB radio surreal conversations mixed into the audio fabric.
Over The Barrier – we call it the “naughty” track. “Secret Towers” animal cuisine maybe.
This piece is probably destroying the ambient continuity of the record, but we don’t do things by the book. The distorted and imperfect climax of the struggle against the hurdles. Ends with noisy crescendo of defeat.
……..meat we are – somewhat of a hidden track…but out in the open. It started as a harsh noise idea but was slowly overgrown with the debris left from the crash.