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KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW - The last Man in Europe

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Erratum EM 016
Release Year: 2017
Note: two extracts from KARKOWSKI's final performance (31. Oct. 2013) when he played live to the "1984-THE LAST MAN IN EUROPE" BBC TV production from GEORGE ORWELL (1954) at London's Horse Hospital, 6 weeks before his death...=> pure sinus-tones vibrations, oscillations and drones with high dynamics and often piercing quality, ebbing and flowing... "Few releases in experimental and noise arenas can really invade the mind the way The Last Man in Europe does." [Noise Beneath..]
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"Reality (realityfilm.co.uk) had the honour of working with pioneering electronic composer Zbigniew Karkowski on two occasions. In 2007, as part of the Recording Angel Ensembles accompaniment to Wojciech Has film The Saragossa Manuscript at the National Film Theatre and finally, for the last time on the 31st October 2013 when, already gravely ill after learning that he had advanced pancreatic cancer, Karkowski premiered his music to the BBC 1954 teleplay production of George Orwells 1984 - The Last Man in Europe at Londons Horse Hospital. It was to be his last public performance. Zbigniew died aged 55, just six weeks later on Thursday December 12th in the jungles of Peru where he had travelled seeking treatment with the Shaman healers of the Shipibo. Where language ends music begins Zbigniew Karkowski March 14, 1958 - December 12, 2013. Recorded Live to Film at the Horse Hospital, London. October 31, 2013. Recording: Aleksander Kolkowski."


"Zbigniew Karkowski was a very important and influential figure across various arenas of music including electronic, noise, experimental, avant-garde some of which obviously cross over from time to time. He passed away at the age of 55 a mere 6 weeks after recording what we have before us today.

The Last Man in Europe is a document of Mr. Karkowskis presentation to the BBC 1954 teleplay production of George Orwells 1984-The Last Man in Europe. This piece was recorded live at The Horse Hospital a London independent arts venue on October 31, 2013.

On a personal note, this recording is nothing like I have ever heard before. Its uniqueness makes it virtually impossible to categorize. However, this important recording is the work of not only a pioneer but a master of electronic music dynamics and frequencies. Some of the tones here range from mid-level to ear-piercing. There are other moments, for example (around 3:30 in track 2) when the base track, often ebbing and flowing is layered by a sound that can best be described as a noise wind. Its at that point where this recording really has become a brain-altering experience.

Few releases in experimental and noise arenas can really invade the mind the way The Last Man in Europe does. It reaches beyond the reasons why we listen to noise and experimental music in the first place.

Fortunately, Erratum Records has decided to release this important recording in LP form giving the piece and Mr Karkowski the respect they deserve. As noted above, Zbigniew Karkowski passed away six weeks after this recording was presented. He traveled to the jungles of Peru seeking the help of Shaman healers for his pancreatic cancer. This is further confirmation that this influential artist lived and died in areas where a very small amount of people dared to go before." [The Noise Benath the Snow]