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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

Joli - Alone In The World [Ominous Recordings - 2019]

Alone In The World is the latest selection of taut, terminal bleak, & vice-like hope crushing walled-noise from Joli. The release appeared late August of this year- coming as either a three C60 box set or digital download- unfortunately, the tape boxes are all gone, so ones only option now is a digital download.

The release appears on Stockholm based Ominous Recordings- the three black shelled cassettes are in a long clear tape case, and we get a fitting bleak monochrome cover featuring a grim photo of a bleak river/ waterfall.
Joli is the project of Spokane, Washington based Jason Wolpert - and the focus/ themes of Joli is suicide, self-harm, and self-doubt. The project has been active since around 2013- put out around thirty releases- taking in stand-alone tapes, split release, digital releases, a few single CDR releases, and compilation tracks. This is second longer/ boxset release from the project following up the four CDR set There Will Always Be A Answer- which appeared last year on Altar of Waste Records.
The release is split-up into six thirty-minute ‘walls’- and these are mostly set in the decidedly dense & unrelenting end of the genre. The opening track “Insignificant” very much brings to mind the releases cover- with it’s thick and raging weave of buffeting 'n' battering textures, which come together to bring to mind the sound a roaring and rough waterfall- the tones lash, bay and brutal slam against one's ears- as if you are sailing over the edge of an endless waterfall.
Next up we have “Left Behind”- here get another truly raging ‘wall’, this time it’s built around a mixture of rapid rumbling and lashing tones. After the first ‘wall’ the textures are somewhat similar in their tonal range & make-up, but there is just enough subtle difference to make it not a carbon copy of the first track.  Track three is “You Don’t Love Me”- and here the rapid 'n' baying pace eases for a ‘wall’ that finds a blend of muffled & swirling roll, and jittering/ lapping mids. If the first track was you descent down a waterfall, this feels like you trying to tread water towards the shore after the lashing & battering of the rushing water.
Track four comes in the shape of “You Don’t Even Know Me”- this ‘wall’ finds a mixture of slightly muffled & locked grinding, around this we have a blend of feast, circling, and flitting thinner/ smaller static texturing- and this whole ‘wall’ has a distinctive feel of  locked & inward thinking that just seems to go round and round in one's head, which I guess fits the themes of the project very nicely.
The final two tracks are “Alone In Life” and “Alone In Death”- the first track is a decidedly urgent & taut ‘wall’ which sees a blend of thick ‘n’ rapidly judder mids- these are surround by thinner lines of jitter static, and the whole thing creates a nice feeling of pressing worry and doubt, which of course fits the themes of the project like a glove. The final track slows- yet- tense things up nicely- as we get a mixture of tightly flitting bass churn, rapidly judder & hovering grainy crispness. It’s a great and fairly sinister yet hellishly taut end to the set.
For the most part, I enjoyed what Mr. Wolpert severed up with Alone In The World- as the walls nicely move from battering-then tension-filled.  If I had one slight criticism it would be the second ‘wall’ here does sit fairly near the first track, which is a little disappointing as the other tracks here are relatively different sounding from each other- but this is no major thing, as I guess you could just see it as a subtle variation from the first 'wall'. As I mentioned at the start of my review, sadly the tapes are now all sold–out so if you want this digital download is the only option.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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