On the title track to his forthcoming EP Rabbit Feather, Jackson Hill brings extremely tactile sounds together with an electronic production aesthetic that both grounds what you’re hearing and transports you to an otherworldly headspace of pure imagination. Soft electronic drones swell and swarm while percussive sounds mark out unconventional rhythms in modulated clicks and snaps, strings resound with an unmistakably delayed and drawn out strum, bass traces downward arcs in jazz-like downtempo style. It is layers of minimalism that matches the surreal imagery suggested by the title of the song. For something so peaceful and spare there is a lot of movement and forward momentum in the song and altogether it sounds like little else unless you could vaguely trace a lineage to some of the work of Laraaji, Brian Eno’s and David Byrne’s 1981 experimental world music album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and maybe the more avant eras of Anthony Braxton. It is a unique and rewarding listen for anyone that has an ear for the music that is somehow both tuneful and requires taking it in on its terms rather than imposing genre requirements in order for it to be enjoyed. Listen to “Rabbit Feather” on YouTube and connect with Jackson Hill at the links below. The Rabbit Feather EP is being independently released on March 18, 2022.
JOYFULTALK used sampled sewing machines as part of the soundscape for it’s song “Rare Earth,” a piece commissioned for the Everyseeker festival. But the effect with what sounds like sampled bird sound and processed beats is more like a prepared environment so that listening to the collage and amalgam of sounds is more akin to walking blindfolded into an indoor bird sanctuary designed to replicate an exotic environment with flowing water around as expressed by the aforementioned sewing machines. It somehow sounds like the tribute sequel to the more unusual sound experiments on Brian Eno and David Byrne’s album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. But no human voices. Jay Crocker and Johanna Hayes in recontextualizing the sounds to convey a deep sense of place but a place no one has actually been through such unconventional methods and samples brought together makes this not a song in any conventional sense but music in the realm of ambient and the broader spectrum of noise. Yet it doesn’t come off as random, or chaotic, but rather reflecting a sound experience you might have in a jungle or a bird sanctuary and because of the intentionality that had to go into its composition it is curiously soothing. Listen to “Rare Earth” on Bandcamp and follow JOYFULTALK at the links provided.