Philip Jeck An Ark for the Listener

Though his use of junkshop turntable and vinyl has always been idiosyncratic, Philip Jeck's sixth solo album for the Touch label pushes even further past the sample and crackle expectations of the source material. Taking a verse from the Gerard Manley poem "The Wreck of the Deutschland" as inspiration, Jeck builds an appropriately aquatic atmosphere to describe the drowning of five exiled Franciscan nuns. Tracks like "The All of Water" combine the slow, nearly static pulse of a drone to express the vast directionless expanse, with the constantly shifting, overlapping coloured tones providing power and kinetic energy. There are passages in "Ark" and "All That's Allowed" where Jeck's sonic wash becomes still enough to hear bells and other sounds that tease with hopes of rescue and melody. Ark works as a requiem, not unlike Gavin Bryars' The Sinking of the Titanic, with melancholy that isn't recollected in minor chords, but present in the aural approximation of being lost at sea. (Touch)