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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Jazkamer - Failed State of Mind [Pica disc - 2010]

Jazkamer’s “Failed State of Mind” CD offers up nine tracks each clocking in at exactly 3:20 a piece, recorded between 2008-2011, across three different countries (Norway, Agrentina, and Vietnam – all couldn’t be more different), and collaged together to a cohesive yet disjointed album of mellow, weird ambient noise.

The album reaches from field recordings of birdsong to beautifully amorphous feedback compositions, to up-tempo live drums meandering around quietly in the background while unidentifiable sounds splatter the foreground. There’s
definitely some very odd sound levels thrown around the mix, where some parts will blast in way louder than others, and some parts are collaged in from mid-thought as if the record button was hit after the sound began. While distracting, it’s something you don’t hear very often, except of course from very amateur recordings, which this clearly is not. In fact, for those unfamiliar with Jazkamer, the duo is very skilled in sound-crafting, and there are no typical or one-dimensional noised to found anywhere on the record. There is a great deal of mysteriousness to this album, kicked off with a minute or so of silence and ending with another minute or so in the same fashion.

Essentially the whole album is one long “track” broken up
only by the CD player pausing from between the physical tracks, and the other part of the puzzle is trying to figure out which parts of songs come from different sets, which is a futile effort. At times the adhesion to maintain a uniform track length can be distracting, but at the same time it is so cleverly executed that it makes you realize how often this detail, of how track lengths relate to one another on a single album, is overlooked by most artists. A few of the tracks will “end,” meaning what appears to be a sampling from a separate live set is getting cut ‘n pasted in, and will last about ten seconds before the 3:20 is up, and it continues right where it left off on the next track.

Overall, a very distinctive album, for fans of Smegma and the like

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Jake Vreeland
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