Monday, 23 September 2013

Review: JCCG

JCCG Eje (Department Tapes, 2013)

JCCG is Joao Costa Gonçalves, who also happens to be responsible for Mediafired, The Exhalers and Sofa Pits. These various projects, Mediafired in particular, have yielded some rather ethereal, transcendent music that plays with my emotions and soothes my eardrums, so I was naturally quite excited to hear the next release from the guy. A constant running throughout Gonçalves' soundworld is reverberation, and while you could almost say it is a gratuitously employed effect, its use in his work feels warranted by the effervescent, airy sound it creates - last year's A Pathway Through Whatever is a case in point, with its serene, blissful vapor jams leaving a lasting impression long after the echo had fizzled away.

This time around, JCCG isn't applying screw techniques to the readymades of Kate Bush or Queen, but is instead manipulating the sounds of his own guitar (although he does have a little assistance from Sonic Youth on "Fundos"). I find it quite difficult to rest a finger on this particular style, but whenever I listen to Eje I find it to be ever-so-slightly reminiscent of Fennesz or James Ferraro's guitar work, and those of you familiar with either of those artists will know that's quite the compliment. If I were to sum up Eje in a single word, it'd be 'serene'; in keeping with much of Gonçalves's back-catalogue, it is a blissful, pleasant experience throughout. Therein lies an issue, however. Such a singular sound can become rather monotonous after a while - this a problem that hampered Okkyung Lee's recent album Ghil, and it hinders Eje a little as well. The aforementioned Sonic Youth sample certainly adds textural diversity to the album, but those looking for a widely varied sonic palette may come away disappointed.

All in all, Eje is yet another good release from Gonçalves, whose particular brand of sun-soaked hypnagogia is a sound I'd love to hear more of, albeit explored further and experimented with. There is a winning formula somewhere within Eje's nooks and crannies, and I have no doubt that JCCG can source it, bottle it and utilise it in his next project, whatever that may be.

No comments:

Post a Comment