Hailing from Slovakia, performance artist Nicholas Wintzler brings us a handful of different musical releases over the past year, all with their own concept and artistic ideas behind them. This one in particular, Sojuz Šrek Párty is one that stood the most out to me. There’s something charming about the approach behind this album, clearly having loads of fun in the production behind it, but there’s like a childlike take to it, throwing his full authentic self to the wall and seeing what stuck. Up beat chiptunes, frantic vocals, and a raw production is what to expect here, different but certainly well executed.
This album truly feels like a very pure and raw expression of the self, but, that doesn’t mean that is the true meaning or purpose behind said album. Sojuz Šrek Párty (Roughly translating to Sojuz Shrek Party), as mentioned on its Bandcamp page, refers to Ašrotmáš. What exactly is ašrotmáš? Well, it refers to anything. So it can also refer to this album, or anything else your imagination can conjure up. Personally, I think this is a small peek inside the creative mind of Wintzler, ranging in emotions from up beat mania with a hint of raw melancholy mixed in creates for a very unnerving feeling that your body can’t help but dance too. A cartoon rave led by demons is what I picture.
I found my self enjoying this album much more than I expected first going into this. There’s a lot to unpack in the music, and its charming absurd nature really resonated with me personally. Its always great when an album can be so very dark and twisted yet colorful and full of life all at the same time thanks to the clever use of the heavily underrated stylophone and the rather obscure PO-20. These under used electronic instruments help give the album that retro video game sound which in turn, gives the whole release this weird nostalgic feeling that is hard to shake off after listening. Especially on the third track, something about the instrumental behind the vocals reminds me of an old Megaman game.
As the album drew to a close I found my self going down a rabbit hole of Wintzler’s other releases and they’re all just as strange and charming as the last. There’s nothing to compare it to as each release is something of its own work and performance that is outdone by the other. This particular release, though, was the one that won it all for me. The charmingly manic production, clever use of obscure instruments and great overall pace really cemented this album somewhere on my album of the year list. Quite the jarring change from the rest of the things I review here, but this surely is an album people should check out, even if its not your thing you might find something interesting to walk away with.