Jaja "Starfields" 2xCDr
German deep space voyager Jana Rockstroh alias Jaja has released "Starfields" originally as digital download during March 2015. Its physical version is out since December 2016 on Jaja's co-owned Cyan netlabel as a double pro CDr edition packaged in a transparent poly double DVD case with a full wrap-around insert, printed on both sides, featuring immersing astronomy photographs by Roy Uyematsu, who already contributed to several previous releases by Jaja, for example "Stellamare" or "Starlight". The double album is available in a limited edition of 20 copies and as usual for all Jaja's physical editions, it looks really elegant!
First CDr, comprised of four longer pieces clocking between 12 and 23 minutes, unfolds with 22-minute "Starfield I". Warmly gliding stratums immediately invade my listening room, precisely counterpointed by distant contemplative bells and intangible eerie groans, while smoothly evolving introspective vistas permeate here and there. Additional continuously ascending and evanescing movements join rather monochromatic-driven layers along with unexpected ephemeral cyber-tech rumbles. "Starfield II", the longest ride here, moves into slightly heavier, persistently undulating and intriguingly reverberating domains infused with weeping quietudes, rawly ear-tickling glimpses and embracing traces of silence. The shortest part on this disc, "Starfield III", straightly dives into unfathomably nebulous realms propelled by drifting, sinuating, humming, expanding and diminuendoing layers and reinforced by subterraneanly titillating cyber-biotic vestiges. Dronescaping bliss certainly awaits here!!! "Starfield V" is announced by crystalline effects and then it slowly unfolds with hovering flatlined, yet serpentinely gliding drone pervaded by resurrecting, both transient and magnifying cybernetic patterns and oracularly abyssal calls. Stunningly engulfing soundscape!!!
"Starfield IV", with 26:45 the longest track on the whole journey (thus the switching with "Starfield V"), opens the second disc with monumentally expansive drone, masterfully cascading from ambiguously spellbinding through desolately awe-inspiring to warmly panoramic realms. Transcendentally gossamer disruptions arise occasionally along with crescendoing meridians and invade delightfully monolithic magnitudes. Wow, a truly mind-bending odyssey!!! "Sternenmeer" (or "Sea Of Stars") is as much intense, although more weeping and meditative than its predecessor. Constantly traversing through breathtakingly expansive plateaus and tenebrously enrapturing stillness, yet always fastidiously augmented by a myriad of ear-tickling bells and diaphanous chinks. The listener is unlocking the gates of deeply contemplative heaven and the closing "Starfield VI", only a few seconds shorter that part IV, focuses on soothingly meditative, microscopically granular embroideries, but this magnificently enveloping extraterrestrial emptiness is infrequently punctured by assorted ear-piercing scraps. A profoundly minimal sonic alchemy at its most efficient!!!
"Starfields" double set offers over 150 minutes of fascinating tour de force stargazing adventures, meticulously shaped by one of the best deep space soundscapers on the scene. Jaja's potential is amazingly broad and tremendously flexible, even if always strongly connected to outer space theme. "Starfields" is an exemplary showcase of this highly accomplished artistry, but these words easily apply also to a number of other outstanding Jaja's releases such as "Endless" (I have reviewed this one in January 2016), "Sparkles", "Milky Way", "Stellaris", "Starlight", "Stellamare", "Cosmos Vol. I (collaboration with Spanish kindred journeyer Ran Kirlian, spotlighted in January 2014)... And since the New Year's Day 2017, two brand new albums "Beyond The Horizons" and "Through The Belt Of Orion" are available, both in digital formats only, but as always, I really hope one day they will end up on physical formats as well. Bravo, Jaja, your creativity deserves to be applauded!!! Keep on odysseing!!!
Richard Gürtler (Mar 23, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)