Atman – The Silent King

Atman – The Silent King


Bio: Polish experimental ethno-folk collective ATMAN was formed in 1981 by multi-instrumentalists Marek Styczynski, Marek Leszczynski and Piotr Koelcki, who remained the core of the group throughout its lengthy existence; other regular collaborators included vocalist Anna Nacher and Tomek Gulinski, as well as bassist Thomasz Radziuk. Forging an aesthetic they dubbed “forest music” — a sound created with acoustic instruments and Tibetan instruments — the members of ATMAN divided their time between performing and offering workshops in instrument building and forestry, finally releasing the cassette …jak rozrzucone po ziemi kamienie… on their own FLY (Freak Living Yourself) label in 1991. Cassettes including Soundreams and Gadajaca Laka followed before ATMAN made its American debut with the Drunken Fish EP Save the Earth; other efforts for the label include 1997’s Personal Forest and 1999’s Tradition. Today I listened to his 16 Track effort called “The Silent King.” The result though far from a self-indulgent ego trip, rather a moving and elegiac artistic statement from start to finish. This is not your overly predictable Ramon Noodle “Sing-Songy” rap album. Instead Atman makes all these tracks his own showcasing tasty rhymes, thick rhythms and an infectious persona that is of the charts. I was amazed at how diverse this CD really is. In fact Atman could even be classed as a 3 genera Rapper: Rap, Hip Hop and what I call Electro-Rap. Atman has way too much precision and clarity to live in the shadows of overly-predictable corporate music. Indeed this is clearly evident in songs like “Cold”, “Slow” and “Gun Control” which methodically ups the ante to a very respectable level of catchy musical craftsmanship and addictive melody that transcends pigeonholing. The music is also commercially viable with Atman’s  smooth as silk sound baritone that holds the attentions span of the listener perfectly. But do not let your guard down — because when you do you will get exactly what you deserve — served! Atman also delivers rap at consistent Mach speeds — a dying art and skill. It’s good to this aspect making a comeback. This kid has got mad skills behind the microphone and he can pretty much do anything there.

To me this is Chris Brown meets Eminem. Other notable comparables include K-Skillz, L.A.M.E, Ceej’Bezel, and THR33Z. “The Silent King” appeals to many listeners with a wide variety of musical styles — but it packs a powerful punch with a powerful voice for all the new rappers out there who want something more than the status quos right now.

Favorite tracks: Cold, I Want It, Gun Control, Mirror, Keep On.

Conclusion: I would imagine in time we will hear more from this amazing artist in the near future as his sound evolves. To be honest this is the first “legit” rap artists I’ve heard in a long while. Having said that Atman has carved a marketable niche for himself thus setting himself up for marketable success down the road. I encourage you to check out this CD ASAP via the below Spotfly link. But for now I can honestly say this is one artist that clearly gives you a musical snapshot that is highly original, unique and dare I say dangerously energetic and synergetic in scope.


Emily Patterson