Jasper TX: I'll be long gone before my light reaches you

On his Jasper TX album I'll be long gone before my light reaches you, Swedish musician Dag Rosenqvist creates blurred soundscapes using primarily guitar and secondarily organ, drums, toy piano, and effects. His material inclines towards the epic, with four of the seven tracks in the ten-minute vicinity. Stylistically, though, the compositions are intimate and subdued with a lo-fi, analogue sound strengthening the at times shoegaze nature of his style. While titles like “Help them die” and “My heart is broken, I've lost my way” suggest a mood of resignation, the music is sombre as opposed to depressing. Throughout the album's seven pieces, industrial episodes alternate with ghostly drones accompanied by field noises of thunderous rumbles, creaks, and bird chirps.

Almost all of the material succeeds in realizing its intended mood. “Blown out to sea, I'm never coming back” clearly aims for becalmed quietude. After wave-like smears of soft static awaken, an ascending bass line and then a sleepy drum pattern appear until hazy guitars and delicate peals burst forth halfway through to stream over the languid pulse. In “Braille,” melancholy piano and guitar figures barely manage to pierce a seething layer of crackling static, until it recedes to expose the simplest of descending piano motifs. The final piece, an ebbing and flowing guitar meditation “All those broken birds singing Winter into Spring,” builds from gentle plucks to a dense storm before returning again to the quietude of soft exhalations. The album's singular misstep—a severely grating one, unfortunately—occurs midway through “My heart is broken, I've lost my way” when jarring rippling noises bleed all over its soft tones. Aside from that glaring lapse, Rosenqvist's release merges the melancholy beauty and distinctive old-world ambiance heard on numerous Type outings with the relaxed guitar-based explorativeness found on Constellation and intr_version albums.

November 2005