JOYFULTALK

A Separation of Being

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The third album from Jay Crocker's JOYFULTALK project is a major departure from the first two. MUUIXX and Plurality Trip were both hazy, fractured assemblages of arrhythmic patterns coaxed out of self-built instruments, informed by Krautrock, dub, techno, and new age. A Separation of Being retains those influences, but is overall a much more ambitious, cohesive undertaking, and sounds significantly brighter and grander. Crocker, who devised a conceptual scoring methodology which he named the Planetary Scoring System, designed a colorful, mural-sized visual score for the composition, resembling a huge psychedelic road map with highly specific instructions painstakingly etched inside. While it seems like it must have taken ages to create this work, from illustrating the score to recording, mixing, and mastering it, the album is remarkably easy to listen to. Throughout its 33-minute duration, a babbling stream of winding electronic rhythms snake through, equally recalling Laurie Spiegel's warm, organic-sounding computer music and traditional gamelan music. String arrangements by Jesse Zubot match the darting, complex electronic sequences, gradually shifting to the forefront toward the end of the final movement. The effect is both relaxing and highly stimulating. It's uplifting, ebullient music for the mind to dance to, and an absolute pleasure to behold.

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