"First Second" C40
(That’s Cool Records)

I can easily picture Jeph Jerman and Steve Jansen walking out from beneath an occupied underpass/railroad crossing where they’ve just captured to tape the scrapes and clatters of aluminum and tin can separation, said shopping-cart-kerfluffle likely drowning out what later will be the amplified sizzle of a camper’s illicit substances liquefying upon a sheet of foil. Not fifty yards past a fading freight’s screech, they stop to admire the subtle purr of an obliviously rusting electrical box. “I wonder how she’ll sound when it begins to frost,” ventures one. After a solid two minutes of pondering the other replies,

“We’ll have to come back next month I guess.”

Veteran vibration-worshippers JJ & SJ each have an impressively extensive output of visionary improv releases, but now they’ve teamed up here to vibrantly paint a more focused, intentional, potently vivid dream sequence of living-toil-texture and cold-machine-hum, using as their sonic brushes various tapes, homemade electronics, & “objects”.

“First Second” starts out with a blazing-fire-crackle’s intensity as a commotion of distinct wobbles, scrapes, and skids share common frequencies with various recordings of birds and/or barnyard utterances. As the trebly acou-sto-chastics decrease, ghostly tones less beholden to decay are introduced, with both electro-acoustic feedback and treated, sustained string recordings coming into play at juuust the right times. This could not possibly be chance/improvisation, right? The whole album pretty much just continues to mutate like this, at an impressive pace –and to an increasingly diverse, rhythmic degree- the entire time. With no idle doldrums or filler to be heard, this is a solid release, through and through.

Play loud as hell with good headphones and the lights off!

-- Jacob An Kittenplan