Jasper TX: Closet Ghosts
Fenêtre Records

Maybe all releases should be twenty minutes long since that's as much time as Dag Rosenqvist needs to cover all the stylistic bases in his latest Jasper TX outing. Though the prolific Gothenburg-based Swedish producer has released five full-lengths since 2005 (the most recent the strong Miasmah showing Black Sleep), the 3-inch's half-dozen “closet ghosts” serve as an excellent encapsulation of his approach. Much of the material is intimate in character, as if Rosenqvist recorded his analogue guitar drones in his bedroom at night with the lights down low (the outro “To Felixstowe” a good example). As one might expect, there are occasional moments of gloom but the tracks are more often brightened by of uplift and hope. Swathed in sandpapery textures, guitar tones drift through the elegiac opener “I'm Asleep On the Floor While Sunbeams Grace My Tired Head” in a manner that suggests kinship with Fennesz. But light pierces the darkness in the tracks that follow: “Gone, Away…,” a lilting folk tune whose acoustic guitar center Rosenqvist augments with a pretty keyboard melody, “Warmth,” a softly insistent ambient-drone setting, and the dusty piano interlude “Golden.” Reminiscent in title and somber spirit of GY!BE, “And When We Die, God Makes Angels of Us All” spends most of its seven minutes as a ponderous electric guitar meditation with a few swelling episodes heightening the dramatic impact. Anyone looking for a solid introduction to the Jasper TX sound could do a whole lot worse than start with this succinct statement. Here at least, the saying rings true: good things do come in small packages.

February 2009