Review of For Myria [12k1043]

Tokafi (.COM)

Promising timelessness: A shower of summer rain gently pelting down on the ears of the listener.

There is a scene in Kill Bill when Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) and O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) meet for their final fight in a snow-clad zen garden. A miniature well is pouring water on a hinged piece of wood, causing it to rebound in intermittant intervals and creating a delicate rhythm to a scene otherwhise filled with an intense silence. In just a few seconds, the white of the snow will be sprayed with blood, but for the shortness of the moment, the mood is one of peace and tranquility. It is the place Jodi Cave is taking listeners to on his debut disc.

Cave is the sort of artist who likes to disappear completely behind his music. He does not own a MySpace account. On the site of record company 12k, whom he also released a digital EP and a sampler contribution with, his biography measures roughly four lines. His personal webpage doesn’t even have one at all. In a world as secluded as this, every note is either a personal statement or a friendly puff of wind, a shower of summer rain gently pelting down on the ears of the listener.

The latter seems to be the case here. While the record may be called For Myria, therefore, it could just as well be titled For You instead. It is a work of whisper, of quietude, of fragile structures, of sensousness and sensitivity. It is like the soft aftertaste on your tongue after sipping on a cup of Jasmin tea. It is music to fall in love with – and the soundtrack for falling in love to. It is a personal album with a universal message. It is outspoken, yet wordless. Among the many wonderful albums the year 2007 has had to offer, it is one of those promising timelessness. According to Jodi Cave, “it sounds yellow”.

What makes it stand out are three distinct qualities. Firstly, its purity and minimalism with regards to instrumentation. Secondly, its effective and loveable combination of organic and processed material. And finally, the way in which Cave seagues his scenes into a vivid and deep aural walk along the bank of a furtile riverscape.

Each of the pieces collected on For Myria is a moment or a mood, short and ephemeral and with as much beauty as inner tension. The art, to Jodi Cave, lies not in the discovery of new and unheard sounds, nor in sensational and extravagant arrangements. To him, the key lies in describing an underlying truth and emotion with as few words as possible. To this purpose, his transformations are never complete, they always float silently in between their original context and a new life. For a second, you think you can hear birds chirping, mallets touching the metal of a vibraphone, an accordeon inflating and deflating, that hinged piece of wood rebounding with a warm thump.

But then the instant passes and the track grows into something different, a metaphor maybe or simply into thickly sprayed paint over a pencilled canvas of caligraphy. Even though there is nothing much happening on the surface of things, these lapses into a cosmos much bigger and brighter than our own continue like chronic daydreams.

It is very unlikely that Jodi Cave was ever thinking about that aforementioned scene in Kill Bill when writing the material to this album. But if he did, he had his DVD player on pause, freezing the peace and tranquility of the momemt forever. – Tobias Fischer

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