Asuna & Jan Jelinek Signals Bulletin
Published Apr 05, 2019While the largely warm, unobtrusive ambient instrumental tones of Signals Bulletin make for great background music, it's got some pacing issues that'll likely find listeners plucking a few favourites for playlists, rather than giving the whole release repeat spins.
German minimalist electronic experimenter Jan Jelinek's audio idiosyncrasies are well-anchored by Asuna's interest in the meditative qualities of repetitive note clusters. The Japanese sound artist creates live organ drone canvases for Jelinek to paint over with pulses, twinkles and the fractured frequencies of vague synth lines bleeding in and out of the mix.
The first half of the album is reminiscent of Broken Social Scene's, You Forgot It In People intro "Capture the Flag" if it were stretched out into two ten-minute-plus pieces. "Relief, Pt. 1" and "Primary Pulsating Structure" are the tracks you'll be putting on goat yoga playlists and vibing out to while you're trying to crack that story outline or get some studying done.
The rest of the album is a less an enjoyable listen, getting a bit self-absorbed in sound experimentation for its own sake. Nearly halfway through its 14-minute runtime, "Blinking of Countless Lines" finally morphs back into the sort of album it started out as, but by then, the spell has long since been broken.
As much as diversity and eclecticism can be great in music, it's hard not to wish that Jelinek and Asuna had made a full album of beautiful, soothing meditation music and saved the brief excursion into unsettling territory for a side release. (Faitiche)