I often play host to a great hunger, longing for a new piece of music to burrow into for weeks. I’m grateful that in this age I have a reasonable chance of striking that vein several times a year, or having a trio new addictions at once (or two or five albums of the year). Growing up, I remember falling in love with an album and listening to it with abusive regularity for months on end, because I had no clue that another perfect sound was out there beyond my grasp and lack of internet. So I swell with gratitude every time it happens. This time it’s Marielle V Jakobsons with her debut Glass Canyon.
I don’t recall where, but I would like to thank whomever shared this three song sampler (half the album!) because I hit play and was swept away so completely that I evaporated from the tail end of Dusty Trails at the order form for the LP edition.
Employing mainly synthesizer and violin, Jakobsons carves a puzzle dream landscape (possibly) named in the song titles. Each sequence heaves and grows and disintegrates in delicate fashion like a sentient desert. There is a meticulous nature about her craft, signalling her strength as a composer in the way that Christian Fennesz‘s best pieces work: as both feedback sculptures and orchestras in miniature at once. With synths lush and jagged alike anchoring the music, her yearning violin is set free to trigger cascades of the emotional beats often summoned by much larger scales of work from the likes of Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Stravinsky while never even looking in the direction of the kind of bombast they’re capable (or guilty?) of. This is exemplified in slow building opener Purple Sands when the track blossoms, invoking the ghosts of Gavin Bryars’ masterpiece The Sinking of the Titanic, a piece which has always given me chills. These forces amplify each other into an aching dark journey, an album transporting beyond most anything I’ve heard all year.
For fans of: Ash Ra Tempel, Terry Riley, Spacemen 3, Leyland Kirby, Black To Comm, insane memory