Sunday, November 03, 2013

Heavy Rotation 11-2-13

It isn't often one comes across an album and thinks Jesus, this is beautiful.  Luckily, this gem of a record was discovered by yours truly this weekend.  As of now, I've listened to it seven times today.  It has turned out to be a great companion piece to this week's second selection in this entry.  But, we'll get to that later, as it deserves its own space.  This, Mutual Benefit project is amazing.  Most remarkable is that the kid who made it is a 25-year-old named Jordan Lee.  As I get older, 14 years removed form a 25-year old-life, I become more and more amazed by what kinds of music these kids are capable of making.  Moreso, this young kid has created a consistent atmosphere.  The songs feel extremely cinematic and intimate in you've been there before.  They are layered and layered and linger far after they end.  Usually, someone has to go through some life shit to make music like this.  As of yet, I haven't done much research on Jordan Lee, yet the lyrics and sound make me think he had to have gone through something to be able to develop and nurture these compositions.  Hotels are mentioned and I wonder how he knows them so intimately.  Why was he staying in one?  How can the sounds surrounding the words make you feel as if you are really there with him?  It is all based on atmosphere.  Spooky, yet hopeful.  I wouldn't be shocked if this becomes my favorite album of the year.  Looking forward to listening to it with all the lights off and a candle burning.  Not there yet, but pretty close.  It would only enhance its beauty and simplicity of even how it is recorded.

Finally, there is this...

Pat Noecker is someone I am proud to know.  He explained Transmissions in A and E to me a couple of times, but the concept was so abstract and hard to envision.  I couldn't really "see" it.  The outcome is phenomenal, rich and filled with surprising sonic textures.  Although this obviously wasn't released as a recording, the video proves there is a way sound exists and it can change our environment through its complexity.  Pat controlled the initial sounds through his iPhone.  That is something I greatly respect about this project.  It is experimental as shit.  And that brings me back to the first sentence about this piece and about this work.  I feel like Pat took risks to make this happen.  Of course, it was practiced to an extent, but it is still an experiment in sound and a magical one at that.  I'm not going to give that much away, as it needs to be seen and heard  to fully appreciate it, but here is the concept in a nutshell: Pat played the tone/note of A through an app on his phone, looped it and then had 11 other instrumentalists meet the key.  Instrument after instrument, adding to the layers of a consistent and solid sound to a pitch.  Later, this same concept is repeated in E.  Amazing.

His tumblr/blog is here and it is a good read: Pat's blog

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