Band: Peter Matuchniak
Band Website: www.petermatuchniak.com
Label: The Record Label
Label Website: www.therecordlabel.net
Release Date: 2012
My buddy, Peter Matuchniak has a pretty long history in the prog world, dating back to band’s he played and recorded with in London during the heyday of the prog revival of the early eighties. I’m not sure that Peter would feel that being a starving musician in the early eighties would be rightly called “the heydays”? Having moved to Southern California he took a break from music until around 2002 when he got the itch to start making music again. Uncover Me is Peter’s first solo album and on it he plays guitars, keyboards, bass and provides the vocals. He’s surrounded himself with Jimmy Keegan (drums), Rick Meadows (bass), Conor Jonson (sax), David Gilman (flute), and Natalie Azerad and Ted Zahn (vocals). There are also a half dozen others who provided musical input on select numbers. As the title implies Uncover Me, is a set of personal compositions reflecting a little history, some experience and some observation.
The eleven tunes on Uncover Me, range in length from 2:18 to 8:08, not counting a couple really short transitions or connecting segments. The disc is a mixture of styles, but has a distinct proggy feel to it, given Peter’s guitar playing style and I guess his manner of composition. He’s not afraid to write a straight forward tune, but he seems to enjoy playing with it just a little to add something more to it. Things start off with one of the more proggy pieces “Falling Ash” [5:23] which is part one of a two part affair. It commences with some pleasant musical crescendos built around an arpegiated guitar lead line before moving into a Pink Floyd inspired movement featuring female vocalizations not unlike what’s heard on Dark Side of the Moon. After a brief spoken word segment, the singing starts and is interjected by acoustic guitar picking where the tempo slows down dramatically becoming quite dreamy and trance like. Other tunes take a more are more straight forward but might be spiced up with a proggy arrangement or embellished in some fashion. All in all there’s quite a mixture of styles and influences that ensure the disc is never boring.
My guess is that the music on Uncover Me will have immediate appeal to fans of Steve Hackett or perhaps Camel. It’s that type of record; smooth, melodic, tuneful, with just the right amount of musical spice to keep things interesting. Matuchniak’s not afraid to write a very simple tune nor is he afraid to create something longer and more complex. It’s always a matter of composing a tune that fits the emotional needs of the moment. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable listen.