RAY MONDE & J. NOVICK “Ray Monde & J. Novick” C30 (Flophouse)


I don’t think we should be flippant about Ray Monde and J. Novick’s work, do you? I think we treat it with the reverence it deserves, with the reverence with which it was made. It sounds reverent too – Novick’s synthesizer beds, thick with mood, allow for Monde to add his restrained sax to build and release tension through exquisitely built glacial chord progressions, field recordings adding flavor here and there where necessary. But then you look at the track titles and notice that the transcendent track 3 is titled “New Age Shit,” you wonder whether you’ve struck a true modus operandi or a jest tossed off by two musicians frustrated with the response to their work.
We walk the edge of a knife here.
But let’s regroup firmly on the serious side and just sink into this fever dream that Monde and Novick have conjured from realms beyond ours. No, this is no “New Age Shit,” this is the removal of the veil, the parting of the curtains, the deep dive into elemental existence. It’s like purple antimatter ripples as envisioned by a time-unstuck Angelo Badalamenti, but backward sometimes and slathered in more reverb. The overwhelming interstellar-ness of the cavernous production places you right in the middle of the void, the action blurred at the edges of your perception the only action occurring and the only action worth focusing on. As the tape comes for you – and it will come for us all – it will assimilate your humming atoms into its own massively buzzing energy field, and all will be right in the end.
Also released on Russia’s Invisible Animals.