lunes, 5 de octubre de 2009

Jasper Tx - Untitled Nr.7

Jasper Tx - Untitled Nr.7
Genre : Electronica, Ambient, Experimental,
Buy It!

01 - Untitled Nr. 7


Dag Rosenqvist’s Jasper TX was one of my favorite musical discoveries last year. He’s been releasing things for a few years now, usually in absurdly tiny print runs on labels probably run out of someone’s closet. Sonically, he sits somewhere near Machinefabriek or Mirror, carefully carving out tiny little sound statues if intricate and subtle beauty. His pallette is a roughly even mixture of treated accoustic instruments and drones created from who knows what, but the result is quite alchemical.

I was lucky enough to hear about this release a few days after it was announced or otherwise I probably never would have been able to snatch a copy, as there were only 110 to begin with. The limited nature of many of Jasper TX’s output is a double edged sword. It’s hard to deny that there’s a coolness factor to having loads of these micro label releases, and you start to develop a sense of pride in being able to dig them up. There’s also the fact that the audience is pretty damn limited to begin with, as is the financing behind these labels, so the tiny printings are a matter of practicality. However, it’s a damn shame that the window of opportunity to find such treasures (at a reasonable price outside of eBay or discogs) is so brief. Oh well, on to the music itself.

“untitled nr. 7″ comes in one of my favorite formats, the 3″ cd. Like the 10″ record, it holds about 20 minutes of music, which is the perfect amount of time for an experimental musician to say something or fully develop an idea, but not so long that it overstays its welcome. This release pushes the limits of space on the disc with twenty minutes and one second of sound in a single continuous track. Described as a companion piece to the most recent full length album “Singing Stones”, “untitled nr. 7″ is a long and slowly mutating drone piece welling up from the barely audible to the fuzzy and thunderous. The photo on the mini dvd case is of a lonely line of once-bright parking lot dividers (I think?) topped with a thin layer of snow beneath a rather bleak and gloomy sky. Perhaps this is meant to evoke that wet chilly feeling of a late winter day as things start to slowly melt, but as I sit here typing in the 100 degree heat of the real Texas I have decidedly different mental images. The creeping warmth of the day, the stickiness of a sweat-soaked shirt against your back, the twinkle of dust in the air.

I mentioned that it starts off quiet, but I don’t think I emphasized enough just how quiet. This would seem to be a clever ploy to get you to turn the volume way up, and that’s a good thing. Drone pieces are usually listened to at far too low a volume, and can take on entirely new dimensions if their sound can fill the room. With “untitled nr. 7″ this means the slight crackle of static, the occasional pop, and the full realization of all the layers and textures of the tones and drones which are added over the course of the work as the minutes drift along. One of the great things about this piece is that it has an actual climax. Far too often a musician will dabble about for a while with an interesting set of tones and then say “welp time for something new” and then just fade out to the next thing. Not so here. It may take nearly 16 minutes for the foundation to be fully laid down, but the payoff (at the proper volume) is quite stunning.

At 20 minutes, I can see why this was left as an independent coda piece to “Singing Stones”, but it captures all the creeping grandeur and chameleonic atmosphere of great drone, and in just the right amount of time. If you can find a copy I would highly suggest picking this up, it’s a wonderful little piece from a constantly improving artist.

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