In the enjoyable endless dialogue about favourite pieces of music, it often reveals that our most treasured experiences are, when we really zoom in, momentary. Whilst we might happily point to an entirely album or track, the real epicentre is probably one small, fleeting episode in a whole series of events. That less than 10 second window when your brain literally soars as your pleasure receptors tingle.
One such moment at OBLADADA has always been in Kraftwerk’s Anasas Symophonie. The final track of Ralf und Florian, Anasas Symophonie is an odd track though, far from the embryonic industrial squeaky grooves or the autobahn robotics of their later work, this track conveys a lysergic reimagining of some tropical heat baked balmy utopia. In the midst of hanging rhythms and texture, some 3 and half minutes in, the whole thing melts into a flanging jet streams over clear blue sky.
kavanah, the debut album by Australian Jonee feels immediately like it actively grows out of that very same heady fissure of gentled fried electronics. You can almost feel the heat rising and intermingling as the droning and floating synth patterns slowly reveal themselves. The music also immediately framed by the fact it was made in the lush and ancient magnificence of the Blue Mountains, NSW.
These 4 extended tracks all hover in pleasant disorientation for more than an hour. The two middle tracks, anokey magen lach and yehgeh add some oddly abrasive gravity into the mix but the real headlines here are the opening and closing tracks.
mayim and mayim l’mayim engulf the first 12 and the last 32 minutes of the album and serve like superbly realised kosmic twins. mayim rises through endless sun-baked steps, gently encrusted in woozy corrosion as it slowly spirals. mayim l’mayim follows the similar form but this time the sounds grow and extend further, blossoming into more and more detailed psychedelic patterns.
jonee states the music came about by improvising with a very simple synth set up. The results though are instantly a deep and resonant experience, offering something to both the performer and listener “these pieces are an expression of my connection with the divine presence.”
Whatever form of bliss the musician gained from making this album, it’s undeniable that the appeal is far more universal. kavanah is a blistering example of extracting so much from seemingly so little, its textural brilliance plays here endlessly. Somehow the music straddling a spacious form of improvised minimalism, lysergic transportation and inner journeys, a dusting of new age, but sprinkled with real heft.
Whilst for us, the whole experience grows out the memory of another track we’ve always loved and then somehow reconstructs that moment into a whole planet, we suspect kavanah is pure sonic alchemy for any careful listeners, a truly subtle but completely spectacular release.
kavanah is available digitally here