KASSEL JAEGER / JIM O’ROURKE – Wakes On Cerulean

Editions Mego

Across the two sides of an LP, the utterly beautiful music comprised by Wakes On Cerulean is an example of systematic disruption of a given order without the necessity of shocking factors. Each perspective is backed up by a unique acoustic environment that, after a while, fades away gently to leave room to a new condition. It’s a symbolic representation of the cyclical reminiscence of the “warm” aspects of life that strike us as particularly memorable for the improvement of our intimate maturation. As talented composers, Kassel Jaeger and Jim O’Rourke exploited the truthful essence and the full implications of every sonic snippet they decided to use. It would be so easy for them to establish a chain of production of bell-and-whistle gadgetry for the ears of the credulous; rather, their affinity is recognized as a classic case of wholeness exceeding the sum of the single parts. Akin minds managing to combine individual researches into materials whose composite traits appear as the unforced consequence of a natural physical process.

The compositional choices are adequate to the skill level, a sense of unaffected musicality permeating everything we hear. Enclosed in the recipe are echoes of industrialized landscapes, plangent guitars, superimpositions of fluid geometries, synthetic arpeggios connecting diverse psychological dimensions. In a nutshell, wordless kernels of fundamental being. The substance is pliable, animate, conveying a vulnerability of sorts. Roots watered with elemental harmonies give birth to heterogeneous foliages containing traces of modulation, although a constant shift of “tonal” orientation prevents the listener from getting stuck in the sterility of mere aural satisfaction. The section starting around the tenth minute of the first side is perhaps the most moving: remote cries of uncertain origin – imagine a Theremin attempting to impersonate a seagull, or a dolphin – are supported by a variegated substratum of restrained electronics and vinyl-like crackle. But that, too, does not last enough for us to fall prey of the “facsimile syndrome” afflicting hundreds of records constructed on kindred aesthetics. Keeping a few graphic details visible inside the general abstraction ensures the proportionality that turns these 35 minutes into a fleeting glimpse at nothingness. You see, the repeat button was invented for something.

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