Boomkat Product Review:
Imagine Arve Henriksen jamming with Jon Hassell and Vangelis on a dusky evening by the savannah / prairie / dockside - you’re in sniffing distance of the properly lush vibes in Joseph Shabason’s Aytche. 4th world, yacht-drift ambient and new age, he does them all beautifully well inside. And if you don’t believe us, then trust pivotal Montreal players Sandro Perri (Polmo Polpo) who says “highly recommended”.
“Saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason's debut Aytche builds a bridge off of the precipice his forbears established, skirting jazz, ambient, and even new age with the same deliberate genre-ambiguity that made their work so interesting.
Aytche is a document of exploration both inward and outward. Every step taken in sound-design mirrors a stride in emotionality, as Shabason employs a variety of effect pedals to coax rich moody textures from his instrument. He explains, "I feel like robbing the sax of the ability to shred by effecting it and turning it into a dense chordal instrument really helps the instrument become something that it's not usually known for." Aytche deals with themes of degenerative illness and assisted suicide with eloquence that instrumental music rarely achieves regarding any subject, much less such difficult ones.
Album highlight "Westmeath" approaches Aytche's subject of inspiration head-on. Here, the album's only verbalization appears in the form of an interview with a man discussing his father's trauma and eventual suicide after surviving the holocaust. Though we only hear a few obscured words and phrases from the interview, the impact is powerful. For Shabason, whose grandparents survived the holocaust, this selection is anything but frivolous.”