MARIELLE V. JAKOBSONS – Glass Canyon (CD Students of Decay)

The aesthetics on Glass Canyon, Marielle V. Jakobsons latest, are trying very hard to connect with nature. With track titles like Purple Sands, Crystal Orchard and Cobalt Waters it’s not that difficult to make this connection, but when writing this, I realize those same titles may also be covering up some ugly new age compositions. And that is I guess also a bit the problem I have with this record. Where on Date Psalms (her collaboration with Gregg Kowalsky) Jakobsons violin played a much more prominent role, on Glass Canyon a different approach is taken. Whereas ‘Of Psalms’ was monochromatic, trance-like and brought back good memories of the collaboration between Faust and Tony Conrad, Glass Canyon tries to ravish the listener with electronic sound manipulations. Nothing wrong with that, but in this case I could do without Jakobsons violin. On many occasions the violin is only added layered over the basic structures and for me this is where it becomes hit and miss. On Crystal Orchard and Cobalt Waters the violin blends nicely with the droning synths, creating minimal patterns that are stimulating but on Purple Sands the weeping, Hawaiian sounding violin is just very awkward and does not add to the overall atmosphere.

Listening over and over, I still had the feeling something was missing, I just couldn’t exactly tell what. Maybe it’s just some excitement that I am missing, and although the compositions are detailed and professional, throughout the disk I could not help feeling a bit bored more than once. PvdG

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