JAB: Erg Herbe LP
In 2018, John Also Bennett appeared on three collaborative full-length releases -- the CV & JAB album Thoughts Of A Dot As It Travels A Surface for Shelter Press (SHELTER 092LP), a fourth Forma album Semblance for Kranky, and Outside The Disc, a new album for his Seabat project with Forest Christenson. He also appeared on Christina Vantzou's solo album No. 4. Whilst work continues on these long running collaborations (as well as other projects with artists such as noted minimalist composer/performer Jon Gibson), 2019 will start for John with his first full-length solo release -- Erg Herbe. JAB says the record was gestated for nearly a decade while he worked out how to fully express his own sound and ideas. Erg Herbe began to emerge during 2017 and 2018, recorded alone during spare moments between collaborative projects. JAB uses a mixture of synthetic and organic instruments throughout the album, including modified Aphex Twin DX7 presets played using a just intonation tuning system, Eurorack oscillators "tuned according to intuitive structures using intervals of 30 hz," and a number of flutes including a Chinese "dizi" flute borrowed from his father, noted avant-garde poet and mail-artist John M. Bennett (a contemporary of New York underground poets Richard Kostelanetz and Steve Dalachinsky). Erg Herbe taps into the rich history of New York loft music. He also cites Takehisa Kosugi, Dominique Lawalrée, Jon Gibson, and Pauline Anna Strom as important influences. Beyond the cuts recorded in Brooklyn, there's also "Chanterai Por Mon Coraige" derived from the 13th century French troubadour song by Guiot de Dijon, on which two flute improvisations upon a theme were recorded blind from each other and then combined afterwards. Appropriately "Chanterai Por Mon Coraige" was recorded inside a decrepit mill in the French countryside at night. The title cut "Erg Herbe" features flute recorded inside Tilapia, a reverberant sculpture by Katsuhito Nishikawa at the Museum Insel Hombroich in Germany, which was then processed and overlaid with synthesizer in New York. "Distant Patterns" juxtaposes dry, pulsating oscillators with pillowy, occasionally dissonant pads, while a raga-like alto flute melody glides and dances over top. "Erg Herbe" in an invented turn of phrase -- "erg" being the term for a sea of desert sand dunes, and "herbe" being French for grass -- summoning the dreamlike image of a green, rolling dunescape. Artwork by Zin Taylor. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. 140 gram vinyl; printed inner and outer reverse-board jacket.