AINT ABOUT ME
Besides its occasional flirt with the mainstream, spoken word records/artists basically still are considered as being rather niche and high on specialism regardless of its long and rich tradition: from the Beatnik generation to Gil Scott-Heron, from Jello Biafra to Linton Kwesi Johnson, from Ursula Rucker to today’s indie queens like Kae Tempest or Sinead O’Brien - all these artists proved that this genre is a highly flexible one besides its alleged limitations, all these artists added crucial nuances to its flux and current status quo. And now it’s time for Berlin-based maverick artist Lukasz Polowczyk to add his mark to this always evolving scene.
Polowczyk has a rather bustling musical past as RQM, he certainly is no rookie to the hustle and flow, but it’s his latest reinvention under the AINT ABOUT ME moniker - a new project he initiated with fellow Berlin-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Jan Wagner - that sees him rise as master storyteller of abstract poetry. AINT ABOUT ME already received tons of love from global tastemakers such as Mary Anne Hobbs - and rightly so, as it offers a brilliantly executed sonic spectrum that equally flirts with jazz, drone and dystopian synth-scores lying underneath Polowcyzk’s highly impressive performance.
“This project sideswiped me“, he tells Lodown, “it caught me completely off-guard. I really didn’t see it coming! Like I didn’t actually plan to make a record. But sometime in March I had this crazy feeling, which was almost physical, that I have music or words stuck inside me. I’ve never felt like this before that there is something in me that needs to come out. I talked to Jan about it and he said, “just go for it, start writing!”. What made this process different from any of my previous work is that the words came first, not the music. I actually recorded most of these vocals acapella or to some basic, textural synths only. This gave me extreme freedom, as I didn’t have to be tethered to any grid, rhythm or predetermined emotion. I could just express myself in the moment that is. I think this is what makes this record so honest and the emotions so grounded.
When I started writing, we thought this will be my solo record, which at some level it is, but it’s also so much more than that. The thing that I’m getting off on right now is the whole spirit of the project, which is encapsulated in its name, the fact that it’s not about me. This phrase became my little koan, and now I’m trying to figure out how to put into practice.“
AINT ABOUT ME’s self-titled debut is out today, and it’s accompanied by a rad book filled with beautiful illustrations by fifteen year old wunderkind rrrumburak. The album is available digitally and on tape(s) via bandcamp. Now get your headphones ready and listen to the whole thing below.
Images by Benjamin Schäfer