Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
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Rosy Parlane
Jessamine

Like his previous album Iris, Jessamine finds electronic artist Rosy Parlane creating three long, untitled tracks that mix pretty flutterings of ambience with downright harsh bits of noise for a nearly fifty minute journey through sometimes pastoral, and sometimes uneasy listening. It's possible that I'm reading into things too much, but it seems that once again the packaging on the release ties very closely with the music itself. Iris was all blue hues and snow, and the sometimes icy, sometimes billowing musical portraits seemed to match up with the cover art just about perfectly.

This time around, the cover art is green, and while the music of Parlane still has many things in common with his past release (slowly evolving pieces that build and bloom slowly, sometimes crackled by feedback), Jessamine has an organic feel that again ties to Wozencraft's photos of a dense jungle and lush foliage overhanging murky green water. Parlane plays electric and acoustic guitar, piano, melodica, accordion, violin, trombone, and loads of other household objects, but as always the resulting mass of sound barely lets anything through in original form.

"Part One" opens the release and at thirteen minutes is the shortest on the disc. The first third of the track finds some gentle drones morphing underneath a higher, ringing tone before the piece opens up about halfway through with lighter hums and some organic noises that vary between the crackling of insects and the quiet sound of water. "Part Two" opens where the first piece left off, with lower drones that again introduce some field-recording type sounds that come in somewhere between the flickering of a hard fire and what you'd imagine the inside of a wasps nest to sound like. The track again shifts about halfway through, into a much more dark section before a high-pitched squeal of noise punctures the spooky drone and then crawls off again.

In terms of sheer dynamics, it's "Part Three" that gives the most bang for the buck, as a beautiful introduction of phases chatter gives way to encroaching feedback that lulls you at first and then completely sandblasts the track in a way that would make Kevin Drumm throw the devil hands. In many ways, Jessamine reminds me of the work of Francisco Lopez, who samples different sounds of nature and then turns them into sometimes glorious, sometimes downright scary pieces of sound that manage to retain a portion of their organic feel, but are pushed into new and otherworldly territory with the use of filtering and layering. An album that can really only be appreciated on headphones or when played loud, Parlane is definitely a fine sound technician. It's definitely not for everyone (and even with the changes is a little too uniform overall for my taste), but power ambient fans should lap this up.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2006-12-07 22:03:13