Strictly analogue experimental soundscaping from Canadian Jenn Morris aka [sic].
Olli Siebelt 2002-11-20
Montreal has always had a taste for the left-field, and whether the city itself supports such creative endeavors or if it's just that Montreals musicmakers are a bit more organised than most, is probably a debate that could go on for quite a while. Either way, you have to admit, from Godspeed You Black Emperor! to Akufen, you can always rely on Montreal to make a good noise.
Like her counterpart I8U, Jen Morris is a Montreal based female electronic musician who is most certainly giving the rest of her laptop toting compatriots a run for their money. Unlike most of her shaven headed peers, who often load up the latest plug-in du jour and make another Autechre CD, Jenn Morris aka [sic] has forgone the use of traditional computer and sequence based setups and instead has dived head first into the deep end of analogue synthesis, and has created one of the most interesting and hauntingly beautiful releases we've heard in this genre recently.
Using a variety of layered tones and a multitude of reverbs and pan-delays, Morris layers tens of waves on top of one another, allowing their resonance to cascade into a charming mix of deep melody and abstract electronic haze.
These sparse, harmonious atmospheres burn white hot, yet are never unpleasing to the ear. Morris it seems, likes her sound dense, but never quite so dissonant that it distracts. Beats here are scarce on the ground, and when they do appear they approach dub but never quite mature enough to allow the bottom end to kick in. "Royk" brings out the best of both - taking on a complex rhythm section and fusing it together with deep acidic loops - kind of like throwing a Richie Hawtin mix down a steep hill.
Check out the deep ambience of "Soon Amma", which reminds one of Thomas Koner or "East For Heather" which could have easily been released on Finnish labels like Sahko or Function a few years back.
And Rabbits Named Friday is a very impressive debut from a very talented avant-garde musician. Morris has managed to create an incredibly tasty palette of rich analogue sounds which tickle the ear and spark the imagination. If the work of people like Kim Cascone, Taylor Deupree or Pan Sonic floats your boat, this will go down a treat.
For the rest of you looking for something really unique and special - dont pass this by.