Second solo LP from Causa Sui guitar player/producer Jonas Munk. These three long pieces aren’t defined by Munks signature guitar-approach, but is rather a musical vision of vintage synthesizers, organs, piano and analog electronics elegantly weaved together to create extensive formations of pure sound. The harmonic simplicity and unrestricted dedication to sonic balance and texture is something of a first in Munk’s body of work. This is pattern music, characterized by slow builds and subtle, but refined, transformations, where gradual tectonic shifts and tiny harmonic gestures generate vivid emotional responses. Instead of imposing any direct intention or meaning, it’s an album that can create a mental environment for the listener to expand and open up into.
Absorb, taking up the entire A-side, is a piece of meticulous balance, structured from techniques recalling the classical minimalists: soft-glowing analog synthesizer patterns in perpetual motion, creating new harmonic content as each bar progresses. Gradually, randomized modular effects are introduced as well as layers of white noise and detuned, heavily tube-overdriven guitar drones, slowly bathing the piece in warmly filtered fuzz.
The B-side opens with two identical organ lines played against each other. After a few minutes the organs lock into a an effortless flow, gently rolling towards a pastoral peak several minutes later, where piano and various layers of electronics enters the soundscape, recalling the blissed-out spiritualism of Alice Coltrane or Popol Vuh.
The album’s last track, Cascade, opens peacefully but soon enough crosses into multi-textural self-oscillating psychedelia – related in spirit to Munk’s previous solo album, Pan, released in 2012. Gradually the intertwined layers of sound rises to enormous billows of sonic saturation, where each drone harmonizes against layers of distorted pulses.
Music like this is perceived as incredibly simple and free flowing, but, as is the case with the biological world, reveals textural minutiae and interweaved intricacy once studied close-up. Every tiny detail serves the bigger picture. It’s music that’s practically vibrating with possibility.
File next to: Terry Riley, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Brian Eno, Popol Vuh.