Freakishly folked, Matt Robidoux rounds up a bunch of his greatest and truest musician friends and embarks on Brief Candles, an delightfully laid-back and meditative compositional triumph. I say “freakishly folked” because the tracks here are built mainly around acoustic instruments: guitar, reeds, brass, piano, etc. They also build slowly, often very slowly, each player taking their time to let their instrument find its footing among the others, or even just in the blank space of silence or on top of a gentle drone. To guide a collective through such a delicate framework takes a deft touch. Robidoux has it.

Imagine a 1930s Parisian jazz ensemble, but way darker and more experimental (experimental tape releases forever!). Oh! But then side B happens, and “Reflection Space” cuts a rug with eight minutes of a wild kraut-jazz party, complete with propulsive rhythm. YlangYlang stops by to add vocals to the lurchy electronic “Little Wall,” and the tape closes with 1970s-indebted funk workouts “Lime Green” and “Sunny Rain.” So … there’s no easy way to really know what’s going to happen with this one. You just gotta let it come to you and take you wherever it deigns to take you.

Robidoux is a fascinating and adventurous composer/songwriter, and he proves it here on Brief Candles. This oughta be one you come back to again and again.