Boomkat Product Review:
Jim O’Rourke and the GRM’s Kassel Jaeger reprise their joint explorations of electro-acoustic music’s outer rim in an absorbing follow-up to 2017’s ‘Wakes on Cerulean Shores’ - a big tip if you also loved O’Rourke amazing 4CD last year, the cosmic scope of BJNilsen’s ‘Space Finale’, or the idea of Popol Vuh playing an alien cathedral.
Painting immersive scenes with a patience and forensic detail that speaks to their many combined decades of searching between the wires, ‘In Cobalt Aura Sleeps’ unfurls with a sort of visionquesting quality that errs to the more fanciful, proggy ambient and fantasy realms than more hard-boiled sci-fi styles. Across two wide tracts they invoke the ghosts of vintage ‘70s analogue machinery to describe an ever shifting and uncanny transition between scenes of bucolic acid shimmer and ominous dread with a rare delicacy and fleeting ambiguity of feeling.
Their first side starts out with a dusky prelude before ending up in clouds of coruscating harmonic noise, building in tempestuousness as the piece awns out, but with two sets of hands tenderly in control of your trip. With their unique sense of physics established, the second side continues to fold time and feelings in on themselves into a knot of deep space anxiety, with gyring arps and Roland Kayn-scale tectonic phase-shifts of tone that make us feel utterly upended, before resolving into the lushest zones of micro-organic electronics that appear to locate us stranded in alien swamp terrain, perplexed at how we got here but very happy that we’re not on earth anymore.