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CD Feature/ Jason Corder & Beta Two Agonist: "Further to Find Closer"

img  Tobias

From any other artist, an introduction including the term “a morphing cloud of texture” would seem to be pointing towards the New Age side of the musical spectrum, where sweetness turns stale and sad cliches come true. With Jason Corder, however, they take on a completely new meaning and turn into something of an appetising promise: Over the course of a prolific discography spread out almost equally over free Web albums and carefully designed physical releases, Corder has made the integration of natural processes his trademark without seeming esoteric or dogmatic. On “further to find closer”, his aspirations have arrived at a completely organic peak.

Even though some of his previous albums were possibly even more coherent stylistically, more cohesive compositionally and allowed for his processes and techniques to shine through more transparently, collaborating with Ian Lizandra of beta two agonist appears to have unlocked previously unavailable bonus content. While processing field recordings to a degree which leaves their fractal motion intact but separates them from their original context is still an essential aspect of his technique, the inclusion of acoustic instruments such as the genre-typical Vibraphone, Xylophone, Windchimes, Glockenspiel and Prayer Bowl on the one hand and electric Piano and Guitar on the other has considerably expanded timbral richness to arrive at an auburn- and sepia-tinted palette.

Most importantly, it has resulted in sweet melodic snippets, fissured figments and faint motivic traces budding underneath a protective dome of drones. In the first half of the album, especially, the interplay between these tangible elements as well as palpably concrete passages of Piano chords, Guitar string palpitations or delicate bell streaks and the more ephemeral soundscape work dominates the picture, creating a tantalising undertow. Corder and Lizandra are unafraid of natural breath and the moments of near-silence caused by it replace the dominant dictum of linear and rational development. Their peaceful and placid pieces progress almost accidentally, without any kind of haste or outward necessity.

On “eleven eleven”, this tranquil tapestry is enriched by very subtely integrated recordings of what could be cars and pedestrians, but their level never once rises above that of the music. Almost imperceptibly, the duo shifts away from their oneiric oasis, inviting notions of rhythm and loosening the density of their beckoning textures. Glistening threads of Organ overtones and reverberating Drums make their appearance on “idol amor”; damp and bass-heavy Dub grooves permeate the dark and brooding Ambient of “dwindle spinning” and the elevated zero-gravity zone of closer (sic!) “closer”, while “gaussian top” fuses rotating chord progressions with lower case tribalism.

Tracks start getting longer as the album progresses, but the increasing sense of spatial and chronological dislocation, sensory confusion and astral weightlessness navigates the album deeper and deeper into an irresistible musical maelstrom. Corder has been granted the “director’s cut” and it is almost as if he is approximating a kind of galactic happiness in the final minutes, where rhythmically babbling water, echoing offbeats, sustained drone-tones and vinyl crackles all seem to intertwine, blend, fuse and magically melt into each other. While it would be wrong to claim that the resulting 50-minute trip were without seams, this morphing cloud of texture evolves with a plausible intuitive logic – and not once touches upon New age or associated genres in the process.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Jason Corder
Homepage: Beta Two Agonist
Homepage: Databloem Records

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