Boomkat Product Review:
Justin Cantrell's debut J album finds him skating into delicate locations, marrying faded piano and delicate electronics with gusty radio static and frozen pads. The CD edition features remixes from Laila Sakini, Fia Fell, mu tate, Nico Callaghan and Grace Ferguson.
Cantrell is better known for his recordings under the Ju Ca moniker, or his collaborations with mdo as picnic. As J, he reduces his sound to a whisper, gently manipulating environmental hums and crackles into a poetic wisp of harmony and microscopic sound. "my seat and week" is an album that requires close listening, and when you focus your attention, the details make themselves present. Like the lilting rhythm Cantrell extracts from piano on the title track, disturbing the natural pacing of the keys by digitally stuttering the sounds, or the faint sine chimes on 'you take each others breath away...' that beat quietly beneath an insectoid hum. Subtle spoken word from Angelina Nonaj elevate 'more room to breathe in', slipping between the gaps in Cantrells piano, while cello from Abby Sundborn gives a melancholy distance to 'a healing tear'.
But it doesn't quite end there, Cantrell has assembled an intriguing list of collaborators to re-interpret the album's songs. Experiences Ltd's mu tate refracts the electroid dub bliss of January's "let me put myself together" on his remix of 'yellow leaf flutters on a nail'. Laila Sakini doesn't disappoint either, pushing Sundborn's cello from 'a healing tear' into the foreground and allowing it to sink slowly into a bath of crackly field recordings and woozy analog synth. Pianist and composer Grace Ferguson's version of the album's title track is more restrained and allows the gossamer piano to crane itself out of the shadows.
All together it's a varied set, that highlights Cantrell's community approach to his craft - the warmth is palpable.