DECAYCAST Reviews : Jordan Reyes “Closer” (American Dreams, 2020)

On “Closer” Chicago artist Jordan Reyes taps into the unconscious of sound.

 

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Chicago’s Jordan Reyes is no stranger to sound, or stage, or production, or fitness, or  running a distro, or running. In fact , there doesn’t seem to be much he doesn’t have a passion for, except maybe standing idle. Between documenting music through writing for Bandcamp and his own blog,  as well as a slew of other outlets, running a label (American Dreams) , and a myriad of other projects, including performing in Afro-Futurist Avant Gospel ensemble ONO, whose  brand new record “Red Summer”  Reyes released on his own imprint.  Reyes seemingly lives and breathes sound . and his newest record “Closer” released on  American Dreams, is nothing short of a  stellar dive into atmospheric, minimalist synth compositions that are as mysterious as they are present for the listener. Reyes songs are deep explorations into the unconscious, sub layers of warbling droning howls topped with crisp and  crumbly textures. Sometimes rhythmic, sometimes sparse and stripped down, Reyes blazes his  own path of experimentation without using more than the sounds require.  A study in presence, something this music just bleeds is it’s presence and honesty.

On “Closer” Reyes sounds aren’t over produced or layered into confusion, but rather delicate, conscientious., and open; traits perhaps more needed in the often stale, contrived,  meanderings of huge modular systems, often devoid of their own identity or soul, dare we say. “Closer” sings to the listener in a way that is simultaneously  refreshing , and yet somehow nostalgic, it could even be said that his sounds reference certain “folk-like”  qualities to both their presentation,  and relationship to each other. Even the cover art reads like an old idiosyncratic map, inscribed with traditions of past and glimpses into  unknown futures.

 

“Closer” uses a variety of sonic strategies and compositional tools to tell it’s story, a personal story, a unique story, a familiar yet original story, and we can’t wait to read the next chapter.  The titles give us a clue into the  discovery that Reyes seeks with these compositions “Lost Man” ,  “Slow Walk” , “Stumbling Home”  could all be cues for dramatic turns in a film yet to be produced, or cues for self reflection, a strategy to decipher meaning our of the void we all know is there.  Are we closer to death, closer to a new  discovery? Odds are, it’s both, and Reyes music seems to  embrace  at once both the complexities and simplicities of life. The vibe is present, deep and nuanced as  get closer inside the mind of someone on an uncharted path using sound as the flashlight. Relevant and real music for  very unreal  times.

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