Anduin & Jasper TX The Bending of Light

With more than a dozen recent releases on labels small and smaller, including last year's wonderful Black Sleep on Miasmah, Dag Rosenqvist's Jasper TX has been careful not to slip into a single-minded way of doing things. His ability to describe the desolate with either acoustic melody or dense drone comes to bear in this collaboration with Virginia native Jordan Lee's Anduin alias. Using a Carl Sagan description of a black hole's formation to unify their musical theories, the duo create a mood that drifts between awe and resignation in the face of such raw but emotionless power. The first suite of three tracks is more dependent on the electronics that swallow, compile and compound tones, allowing only faint pulses and distant notes to emit. The album's second half is comparatively sparse, with the musical elements rising to the foreground like debris left to orbit the gravitational well. It's a work of stark beauty that serves as a worthy entry to both gentlemen's discography. (SMTG Limited)