Jonathan Scherk & Daniel Majer - It's Counterpart - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jonathan Scherk & Daniel Majer - It's Counterpart

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:8 Release Date:2019-10-04
Jonathan Scherk & Daniel Majer - It's Counterpart
Jonathan Scherk & Daniel Majer - It's Counterpart

It's not often that you hear a truly unique album come out these days. Almost everything is a refinement or reimagining of existing genres or a mashup of styles at most. Not to say there's anything wrong with that. And not to say there are no forebears whatsoever to what's on offer here. But Jonathan Scherk and Daniel Majer have collaborated on something quite new, a piece of experimental sound hashed out from an almost endless supply of audio samples and instrumentation, with their new album, It's Counterpart.

This isn't really the kind of album you review track by track. It's far more interesting to take it as a whole, where it's a swirling fog of sounds, all coming and going at different times. Listening to it is like being in the unspoken moments in life, the walls between rooms, or the instants when your eyes blink. You're at the corners of reality, the overlapping spaces. A lot of this reminds me of Future Sound of London at their strangest and calmest, during their interstitial tracks between the "main events" on classic 90s releases. There's also a hint of Boards of Canada style nostalgic fuzziness and Tripsy-flavored psychedelic lounge. But this is similar to contemporaries like Matmos as well, who create the same type of bizarre sonic collages.

There are lots of chimes, weird layered waves of slushy audio splashing over each other, tape samples being played backwards, odd clicks and clacks, spacey pads, and all manner of other sounds piled on top of each other, sometimes fighting to be the dominant sound. Most of the tracks are around two minutes long, so they come across as brief vignettes, like walking through a funhouse and looking at one freaky room after another, but only being able to get a glance before it's time to move on again. The overall effect is almost dizzying, but nonetheless entirely delightful.

It's been said that ambient music is intended to be played in the background, decoration for a room like paintings or furniture. This isn't quite ambient, but it has the same effect of changing the nature of the place you're currently occupying when you listen to it. To be clear, this is extremely odd stuff, but rewarding for adventurous psychonauts or anyone looking for something on the experimental side of things. For those people, I can't recommend this enough.

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