Slovakian synthwave virtuoso Bohumil Trávniček, a self-taught multidisciplinary artist that performs under the pseudonym Grawlix, is making waves with his fabrication of retrofuturistic fantasies that in addition to being inspired by like films like Drive, could have been culled from the electric dreams and virtual worlds of visionaries such as William Gibson and Philip K. Dick, and the nightmares of HP Lovecraft and David Lynch.
In the gritty dark instrumental banger “Dissected”, for example, Grawlix thoughtfully combines synthesizers with the postmodern poetics of a smoky underground party. This is a world where the rays of daylight only occasionally pierce the armored doors that guard the entrance to an underground staircase. In this dystopian reality, life is shrouded in an unbearable, frightening, and unjust system. But there is, however, always hope. And also strength in vulnerability that is brandished in secret.
Citadel is the prophetic soundtrack of a dark future, alternate timeline, or parallel universe. Grim visions that offer only a few glimmers of brightness.
Grawlix launched the project in 2019 with Session-0b. Under the Nightcall_sk label, he introduced himself to a community of hackers, gamers, programmers, artists, and hard and dark sound enthusiasts. The release of “Citadel” builds on this atmosphere.
“When I started, I did not have any ambitions at all. I did the tracks for myself because I enjoyed exploring the possibilities of technique, composition and sound design. At most, I played something for a few friends and I was happy when they liked it.”
“Then I got among the people from the Nightcall_sk label and everything changed. Suddenly I had a platform focused on the same musical style and the opportunity to play live at any time. That far exceeded my initial ambitions. Currently, my ambition is to release more albums/EPs and move them into something new and more intentional. Discovering techniques, but most of all still having fun. “
Grawlix is currently preparing two albums – a collaborative work with music colleague Peter Sedláček, who performs under the name Leo Clair and his own. The latter will be available in the summer of 2023
Stream the Citadel EP below, and order here: