Coen Oscar Polack – A Concrete Pasture

ClientMoving Furniture Records

‘A Concrete Pasture’ by Coen Oscar Polack is the follow-up to ‘Haarlemmerhout’ (2020), an album named after a park close to his home in Haarlem in the Netherlands. ‘A Concrete Pasture’ brings Polack’s interest in exploring the larger world around him back into his music. Polack is a magician in combining field recordings from all over the world, be it a temple in Bangkok, the Dutch Wadden Islands or a the percussive Gamelan instruments, and electronic processing of these recordings. With all these ingredients he creates a vivid, nostalgic, futuristic but familiar world of sounds and emotions.

At first, the colors of the recordings seem scattered, the sounds unrelated, but there is a deeper train of thought running through the music. It is the persistent impression of a travelogue; of places, family and friends, helping Polack in co-creating his music. In ‘Cuore Nero’, nostalgic powerchords are composed into tapestries of ambient-noise, ‘Unseen Shores’ uses a recomposed recording of Polack’s children on the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog and develops into visceral, almost spiritual music, and a field recording of Wat Po in Bangkok in ‘Phra Buddhasaiyas’ becomes a luminous homage that the incorporated guitar sound burns into your skull.

While listening, it becomes evident that Polack is being reflective in auditive images and memory, giving a meaning to a music that is liberated of its formalities and charged with a poignant imagery by transformation, one that is bright and lucid and respects the process from recording until ornamentation.

The longest piece of the album ‘Kraaiennest’, starts with the recording of a Hong Kong traffic light, later to be cut up and transformed into a technoid Musique Concrète piece, with a slow progression into a warm crescendo-decrescendo themed electroacoustic piece, which takes on a life on its own. The finale is Polack on this tenor saxophone putting a stamp on the completion of his work, a performance reminiscing of the raw expressiveness of Albert Ayler.

‘A Concrete Pasture’ points to a landscape, or to a person’s current situation in life. Coen Oscar Polack did himself justice by writing an elegant, vibrant album, a tribute to his reflection of reality, his aesthetics, and with raw authenticity and skill, leaving a great space for the audience’s imagination. 


released October 13, 2023

Unseen Shores incorporates recordings from Schiermonnikoog and the fountain in de Haarlemmerhout.
Phra Buddhasaiyas incorporates recordings from Wat Pho in Bangkok, the temple of the reclining Buddha.
Kraaiennest incorporates recordings of traffic lights on Wyndham road, in Hong Kong and from the crash site of Turkish airlines flight 1951 near Schiphol airport on the morning of February 25, 2009

All sounds by Coen Oscar Polack.
Musical assistance by Lars Meijer, Stijn Dissen, Melle Kromhout and Ruben Braeken.
Mastered by Jos Smolders at EARlabs.
Sleeve design and photography by Coen Oscar Polack