Karluca shines via “Piano Sentiments One” LP
Karluca began his musical journey at six years old when he first began playing piano at the conservatory. He exhibited an immediate affinity for classical music and excelled in the style, but his musical interests grew and he started playing keyboards during his teenage years for an assortment of rock, gothic, and alternative bands. He took some time away from music due to life circumstances, but returned after some time and began writing his own music utilizing his classical grounding and interest in electronic music. The eleven tracks present on Piano Sentiments One incorporate those strands to a greater and lesser degree from track to track, but some performances on the album hinge on nothing but Karluca’s piano playing. The variety is one of the hallmark strengths of this release.
The first two tracks provide quite a contrast. There’s an inward looking personality behind the opening track “Amore” and the shortness of the piece focuses its musical energy in compelling fashion. You cannot help but enjoy Karluca’s artful touch on the piano keys during this performance. The second track “Awaken” hues more closely to the overall tone of the album and turns the mood in a different direction. Karluca engages the piano with a great deal of physicality during this track but he never diminishes the melody with this approach. There’s a sharp percussive quality to the way he plays and it sweeps listeners along with this performance without ever rushing its development.
“Drop of Water” has a decidedly cinematic flavor and its suggestiveness draws you in from the start. His patience as both a player and composer is notable and the space he creates in this arrangement gives the track an opportunity to breathe and insinuate itself into the listener’s imagination. “Fantasy Land” is one of the tracks depending on Karluca’s piano playing alone and few listeners, if any, will regret the missing electronic touches. It is clear he has the skill as a piano player to carry the track on its back and its ongoing transformation over the course of the song keeps your attention all the way through the end.
“In Love” has an aura of seriousness undercutting its romantic-minded title, but it certainly conjures considerable atmospherics and strikes an intense musical note that’s difficult to forget. The melodies on this release stick with you long after the album is over and this track, rates among the best examples of his melodic skill. “Life Within” rates as well. It is one of the most thoughtful musical moments included on the release and it is clear Karluca put a great deal of effort into structuring this track. His piano playing reaches memorable heights here. The final composition “Working Men” has a very different feel than the earlier track as Karluca makes some surprising instrumental additions to the track, but it concludes the album on a strong note. Piano Sentiments One is a release that holds up under repeated listens and the wealth of melodies throughout the collection more than compensates for the lack of a vocalist.