Jazkamer: Matthew 28:17
Pica022. CD. Released August 2010. Audio sample.
On "Matthew 28:17" Jazkamer for the first time in the 2010 Monthly Series operates as its core duo of Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre. This reduction does little to lighten the density of their sound, rather the opposite, because "Matthew 28:17" is a thick haze of dopey fuzz-guitars and droning organ. For the longtime Jazkamer fan this album bears similarities to the 2002 mini-album "The Sound of Music" – which often has been thought of as a highlight in the Jazkamer oeuvre.
The themes of "Matthew 28:17" are a mix of the subjects astronomi (both Hegre and Marhaug are keen space-enthusiasts) and religion (but neither are particularly avid churchgoers). This duality and conflict of science and spirituality is expressed as dionysian ecstasy through primitive psychedelic noise music. Jazkamer offers no answers on these difficult matters, but hope that their listeners will join them on their dance around the campfire.
The cover artwork of "Matthew 28:17" is by Japanese visual artist Yasutoshi Yoshida, also known as recording artist Government Alpha.
All profits from the sales of "Matthew 28:17" will be donated to NASA.
JAZKAMER - MATTHEW 28:17 (CD by Pica Disk)
JAZKAMER - SELF-PORTRAIT (CD by Pica Disk)
Readily I admit a few things. I am not the biggest lover of noise anymore. There's hardly a secret. Also I haven't kept up with the output of Jazkamer over the years. My fault. But I do like noise when its played with some imagination. And over the years I always a keen ear for whatever came from the rooms of Jazkamer my way. There you go. Did I mention already that I think their 'Pancakes' release is a classic? Maybe I didn't mention it this time, but I will. Two sides of the same coin on these two new releases. First, right corner of this match, we find 'Matthew 28:17', the noise part. Hegre plays guitar and Marhaug organ and electronics. The bible verse is about Jesus and his resurrection, and his talking to his apostles. Some worshipped him, others doubted. I have no idea why Jazkamer use this verse, but this is Jazkamer absorbing and re-contextualising the world of noise and psychedelics. Wrapped sounds of guitar distortion, and whaling organ, all covered with dust and debris of ring modulation, distortion pedals and such like. Perhaps a bit too heavy for my taste, but Jazkamer's noise is not restricted to just a 'pure' wall of sound approach. They know what they are doing and they do, here at least, a great job in their wall of sound approach. Interestingly enough: the CD lasts longer than 28 minutes and seventeen seconds.
In the left corner we find 'Self-Portrait', which is an altogether different work. No track titles, no biblical references, but two men in a (large?) room, with a bunch of metal and two (or more?) bows at their disposal. Electronics? Not likely, but perhaps also not excluded entirely. I assume Hegre and Marhaug sit on the floor with their bows and play carefully the metal sheets, rods, pipes and what have you. Sometimes things end up being 'loud' (although to everything one has to turn the volume up quite a bit), but that's just the ringing of overtones. In my book this is noise too, but then of an entirely different nature. Not in the sense of just being 'loud', but in its approach to the non musical material at hand. In a way I'm reminded of 'Glass' by Sissy Spacek (see Vital Weekly 678), especially the second piece on there. The non-music approach marks this off as a noise release, but you should add 'intelligent' to it. A match between two equal parts. I know some will announce "Matthew 28:17' as the winner, but in this fine game there were no winners. Both CDs are part of their 2010 campaign to release a CD every month. If they manage to hold this level of variation, it's surely worth getting them all. (FdW)