« on: January 10, 2016, 08:34:40 AM »
Jaja "Endless" CDr
German stargazer Jaja, with domicile in Köln, has been quite busy during 2015 with really gorgeous batch of pro CDr releases such as "Stellamare", "Endless" and "Starlight". Spacedrifting endeavors of Jaja started back in 2009, since then she has released numerous digital albums as well as first recording on physical format, a collaborative project with Spanish dronescaper Ran Kirlian entitled "Cosmos Vol. 1". This one is out on Ran's Altera Orbe label since April 2013. Before and after that all Jaja's albums were released through Cyan netlabel, of which she is as Jana Rockstroh a co-owner, together with Marco Köller. Their catalog is quite extensive featuring now around 55 titles covering about 14 various artists, mostly from Germany, but also some from Portugal, Croatia, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain and Argentina. As a huge aficionado of physical releases, I was very glad when Jaja decided to go tougher route and release her albums also as pro CDr editions, usually published in a very small limited editions of 20 or 40 copies. Even if the demand for physical releases is continually decreasing, I am really glad Jaja did this move. Always a great news for all of us, CD purists out there, well-done, Jaja!!! I must admit all their physical releases look really attractive, packaged in standard jewel case with transparent tray, usually with 8-panel front insert featuring stunning visuals, always precisely displaying expansive space odyssey Jaja is praised for. Additional points I award also for elegant print on each CDr. Of course "Endless" album is no exception with its impressive cover images, this time printed on 6-panel panoramic foldout insert, which are masterfully executed by Stan K. Yeatts, who is a renowned visual artist within the ambient community crafting his unique style, when coalescing photography and painting. This, in Santa Fe based, graphic designer, poet and literary author is know for his work on Jaja's previous album (digital only) "Startrail" as well as on album covers like "The Long Night" by Steve Roach & Kelly David and "Monuments Of Ecstasy" by Byron Metcalf, Steve Roach & Rob Thomas. Actually, "Endless" was originally released back in December 2014 as a part of the contemporary EP-series, but its physical version is out only since September 2015.
15 minutes long "Eclipse" unfolds the voyage with graceful, spaciously immense and warmly gliding movements, coupled with distantly intangible cosmic wheezes and tranquilly embracing piano quietudes. Gently monochromatic blankets are persistently permeated by ephemeral piano contemplations, while emerging nuances insistently counterpoint with gorgeously engrossing silent glimpses. Splendiferous stellar emptiness meets enchanting melancholic subtlety, this is spacescaping poignancy at its most enrapturing!!! Well-accomplished, Jaja!!! 9-minute "Orbit" immerse the listener with its quietly tiding texture, again tranquilly surrounding, where calmly arising celestial choir-like horizons meticulously commingle with gorgeously sparse, yet richly evocative piano hues, gently reverberating hums and warmly transient cascades. And again harmoniously amalgamated with glancing filigrees of introspective stillness. Rather minimal in layering, but always sonorously expressive soundcarving!!! Another beauty!!! "Satellite", with 17-plus minutes the longest odyssey on "Endless", delves into more shadowy, expansively drifting spheres, augmented by cinematically crescendoing piano patterns and intriguingly weeping cello-like solitudes. The composition serenely floats and meanders through various, fascinatingly panoramic elevations, reaches intensely climaxing magnitudes and then clandestinely vanishes into the sublime infinity. This could be a magnum opus of this album, which authentically exhibits its title and the mood of prodigiously vast realm with all its perplexes. A voluminously euphonious and utterly embracing sonic phenomenon!!! "Infinite", which slightly clocks over 12-minute mark, closes this album with peacefully sinuating soundscape, where meager poetic piano is bridged with discreetly waxing and waning cirrocumulus cloudscapes and subtly organic undercurrents. Mildly humming perpetual dissonances are hauntingly confronted with nuanced piano arrangements, ranging from almost elusive to warmly tighten, and soothingly ebbing field recordings. A beautifully tranquilizing conclusion!!!
Utilizing her traditional Roland JD-800 synth supported by additional outboard toys, 54-minute "Endless" is a great example showcasing Jaja's tremendous passion and immeasurable potential in crafting atmospheric bliss for all deep space connoisseurs among us. This interstellar voyage is always gracefully bewitching and harmoniously enigmatic, without becoming uninspiringly monotonous. And when merging with unforeseen tapestries of contemplative finesses, we simply enter into a truly magnificent ethereal domains with superiorly painted amorphous bridges between comforting expanses, tenebrous occurrences and balmy solicitousness. That's "Endless" in a nutshell!!! In case Jaja's spacescaping adventures are still a good kept secret for you, then I highly recommend to change this, because you might miss one of the most creative and spirited drifters within the space ambient journeying, and no matter if unfathomably dark or captivatingly engulfing. And to keep these lines most actual, since January 1st is out Jaja's newest, 10-track album entitled "Sparkles", its physical pro CDr edition is scheduled for the middle of February with visual spectacle by another genius and kindred soul, Kati Astraeir. Join the odyssey now!!!
Richard Gürtler (Jan 10, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)