Jasper tx – A Darkness
December 31, 2008, 12:23 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

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“Coming only moments after the lovely (and now long gone) EP ‘D+A’, this is the second full-length album from Sweden’s Dag Rosenqvist aka Jasper TX. Following-up the hugely acclaimed ‘I’ll Be Long Gone When my Light Reaches You’ was never going to be easy, but somehow Dag has rustled together the perfect sequel, continuing themes he only began to explore, throwing new ideas into the mix and showing serious development as an artist. I think the secret to Dag’s sound is his honesty – everything you hear is ‘as it is’, he avoids overdone computer effects in favour of crumbling tape recordings and the buzzing of badly wired circuit boards and everything is recorded on his trusty 8-track machine. It’s this ‘as it is’ sentiment that separates for me his work and the work of so many attempting a similar sound – we’ve no shortage of lonely guitarists making music for barely-seen horizons and gauzy sunsets, but where Dag differs is that the music sounds somehow as old as time. His recording style, as dirty and as ‘lo-fi’ as it might be, sounds as if the tracks have been dubbed to a wax plate and buried under the sea for an eternity before being discovered by visiting explorers. It’s as if you’re listening to transmissions from times past or listening to the audio equivalent of damaged black and white photos falling out of a browned photo-book. The record begins with ‘Better Days to Come’, a song as hopeful as the title, one which begins with the dust and flicker of ancient tape recordings before building into something altogether more life-affirming with organ, guitar and glockenspiel. Elsewhere Dag follows this theme of distance and memory with the echoing field recordings in ‘Destroy Detroit’ and the endangered clattering dronescape of ‘Nightbirds’ (probably the albums most haunting moment, listen for the phonecall moment.), but the record truly comes into it’s own with it’s final piece, the 20 minute ‘Some Things Broken, Some Things Lost’. With this track Dag does what many artists try a lifetime to achieve, he comes up with a piece of music that totally defines him as an artist – this is Jasper TX in one, simple moment. With guitar, touching field recordings and glorious, triumphant drones Dag creates a segment of pure musical perfection – something like Windy and Carl, Stars of the Lid, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Machinefabriek and Cliff Martinez all rolled into one and in that it manages to be a totally singular experience. Here is an artist unafraid to express himself, unafraid to take risks and able to rise to the challenges of making music in a post millennial slump – it’s music that makes us glad we’re here. Absolutely stunning stuff, and totally unmissable!”

Review by Boomkat

www.boomkat.com

www.lidar-productions.net

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