Tabs Out | Jet Jaguar – Quiet (1999-2019) & Dan Melchior – Odes

Jet Jaguar – Quiet (1999-2019) & Dan Melchior – Odes

3.3.21 by MattyMcPherson

You might remember Cudighi Records stopping by Tabs Out half a year ago to talk shop on a handful of their releases. A sampler platter if you will. Anyways, the label is hustling strong. You may have noticed “German House Muzik” dropped Bandcamp Friday, February edition. Although, I’ve been returning to a couple of ambient tapes released last fall on the label: Quiet (1999-2019) and Odes. If you have been looking for reflective zones to wander through, I implore you to follow!

Jet Jaguar – Quiet (1999-2019)

The Jet Jaguar (Michael Upton) catalog is intimate already, encompassing CDrs and personal Bandcamp sketches; of course though, twenty years is a lot to parse through. Yet, this close focus, emphasizing on how electronic dance “has been getting quieter over the years” offers a terrific gateway into Upton’s sonic universe. In between choice cuts and new mixes of old Bandcamp tracks, Upton revels in the changing relationship with his music upon this retrospect. 

The electronic guru’s compilation centers around his most blissed out vibes: sparse loops and aqua tinged synths, with the occasional fickle string or vocal element coming in. It is a minimal template, although deviously easy to find yourself lost in. Those new mixes of old Bandcamp tracks subtly subdue the pulses of the bass (n’ sometimes drums!), letting vaporous keys move to the front and hold the sound steady. As Upton settles on the right snare or maraca, the elastic qualities of this ambience fills the sonic space like a streetlight. Bits of radio chatter provide a bit of urban psychedelia in the mix, but these tracks sound like the last vestige of a drug comedown; they are absolutely chill, I promise. For those nights when you really want to reach for hushed spaces, Quiet will take you there.

Dan Melchior – Odes

Dan Melchior dedicated Odes in the memory of his late wife (and Ruby Falls vocalist/guitarist), Letha Rodman, who passed back in 2014. While Melchior’s garage rock and guitar work has been all over numerous underground labels, opening track “Louisiana Honeymoon” tips the scales. Downtempo, meditative zones that slowly unravel with Melchior adding small mesmerizing flourishes; it is a vivid sketch of what once was, but has been lost.

Recorded as if it was made under candlelight, Odes is stripped down to the bare essentials and feels like it was torn from a sonic journal. With just a “partially working 4 track… and karaoke machine that had very good reverb,” Melchior has fantastic control of this fragmented sonic space. Sometimes he summons vicious bolts of guitar noise on the track “Jaguar Girl” or stretches out how many hypnotic inklings can fit into the world of “Night Song.” Either way, these songs feel featherweight and I was left moved by the emotions of these pieces. They are truly intimate prayers; best experienced at the end of the day, when you can soak in the ebb and flow of these patient compositions.

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