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Jasper TX - Black Sleep

CD
 

2007 saw Dag Rosenqvist, the man behind the Jasper TX moniker, carefully feed a handful of releases to a hungry public. Varied in both their format and their sound, all helped to further establish Rosenqvist as one of the most interesting musicians in his field. 'Black Sleep', in a way, feels like the album he has been building up to for some time now, like all his previous experience in creating haunting, oft-beautiful soundscapes has been harvested and fine-tuned for this album. Originally conceived as one continuous track, 'Black Sleep' is no random collection of songs – it is one work, one statement. Ambitious as it may be, it's impossible to deny its resounding success.

As is often the case with Jasper TX's music, the guitar plays a prominent role. This album sees every conceivable sound caressed and tortured from the instrument, from the romantic and direct chimes of 'Pt III' to the distant whisper of 'Pt. IV'. Rosenqvist states Oren Ambarchi, Johann Johannsson, Arvo Part and Tim Hecker amongst his influences – something that gives some insight into the sound and scale of this release. Impossible to explain in simple terms, comparisons could also be made to Deathprod, with sounds slowly emerging and disappearing into thick clouds of murky warmth. The sheer scale and focus on display here also shows Rosenqvist's knowledge of Classical music, and in a way 'Black Sleep' is akin to a symphony – its orchestra made from guitars, pianos and synthesizers instead of the usual strings and brass.

'Black Sleep' is possibly one of Rosenqvist's darkest moments, but that doesn't make the album any more enjoyable to listen to. Its moments of bleakness are somewhat in tribute to the soundtracks and visual artistry of David Lynch's 'Mulholland Drive'. This is music for rainy days spent indoors, looking out towards a vacant street while tracing the build up and release of condensation droplets.


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