Jatun (Other Electricities)

cd_jatunAuroras don't come with soundtracks, but if listeners could imagine themselves in Alaska staring at an iridescent sky, this would be the music playing in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

Auroras don't come with soundtracks, but if listeners could imagine themselves in Alaska staring at an iridescent sky, this would be the music playing in the background. A richly textured synthscape, Jatun brings together the creative minds of Alan Grosvenor (guitar, keyboard, bass, loops) and Scott Worley (vocals, keyboard, guitar, laptop) in an expansively dreamy experience akin to Morr Music, 4AD, Warp, Anticon, and Temporary Residence.

Worley and Grosvenor joined forces in 2004 and later released s/t to great response. The album constructs lush effects layered beautifully upon one another, and the mellow incorporation of Worley's voice makes for a surprisingly engrossing listen. Save for "Ion Crush"'s placement in a Nike SB promo video for the Zoom Tre show and a Signal Snowboards webpage, Jatun has been hovering surprisingly beneath the radar. Norwegian company Helly Hansen recently acquired "Ghost and Grey" and "The Temptation of Joy" to accompany snowboard and ski team imagery in an upcoming DVD release. Video clips of the DVD are appearing on the Helly Hansen website as part of their HHTV program.

If one were going to criticize anything on this album, it would certainly have to be the song titling. Something about the scope of the music seems horribly mismatched when given names like "Weakness," "Young Crooks," and "Fashion Whore." For songs that create organic landscapes in the mind, the titles are simply too reductive. Even the cover art leans away from that purpose with ambient images of photoshopped auroras above copses of twilit trees outfocusing the few electrical towers that seem to ground out the image.

What listeners have here is an album that fits perfectly into a late-night drive or a peaceful read. It's an accompaniment, but also a sound that stands on its own. Worley and Grosvenor have captured a lovely electric pulse here with a thrum and flutter that takes advantage of all that electronica has to offer. Sonically positive. B+ | James Nokes

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