Jhno Membrane

San Francisco, by way of Austin, composer, keyboardist, and music software designer Jhno has been tinkling the ivories since the age of four — and it shows. Six full albums into his solo career, Jhno has become a master at seamlessly mixing sounds, styles, and genres, as well as his own pieces. His years of studying jazz, classical, electronic and "ethnic" music shine through as Jhno offers warm, expressive and heavily sculptured minimalism via "Ovaltune" and "Prelude," fittingly the album's opener, which does indeed provide a sense of what is to come. "Unlimited" is a very pretty, dubby slice of ambience, complete with Rhodes galore and the live drumming of Bryan Bowman. Bowman also figures prominently in the exquisite and highly original take on drum & bass that is "Raise and Illuminate." The title is perfect as the piece rises from the warm glow of "Unlimited," adds gorgeous keys and dubby bass sounds, then breaks into complex, skitterish beats, both programmed and live. The track becomes increasingly edgy as Bowman's playing grows harder and more full, then Jhno pulls back and strips it bare. "Hatch," with twists that incorporate new sounds and ideas at each turn, simply must be mentioned. Hooked around deep bass, spacy yet warm synths, simulated strings and tablas, this one is absolutely gorgeous. (Delicate Ear)