Glass Canyon, the second of Marielle V Jakobsons’ solo releases but the first under her own name - as opposed to last year’s debut Ore, released under the notable moniker of ‘Darwinsbitch’ - is third in a line of major releases from Jakobsons this year; yet if one compares it to musical efforts far longer in the making, you find that this release sounds no less sonically planned - that is, every nuance of the music lends itself to the track and (most importantly) the overall atmosphere of the release - without losing that vital, ‘moving’ energy that only music made alongside other things (Jakobsons’ two solo projects, ‘Date Palms’ and ‘Myrmyr’ have both had releases this year) can seem to latch onto, and channel.
Opener Purple Sands quickly encapsulates the dual nature of the album’s sounds - throbbing, minimal bass synth noise, over which effects-laden violin arcs and cries, under the sounds of high up winds. At just under nine minutes, it may appear to be a hefty undertaking for an opening track, but Jakobsons’ ability to rein her music in to really allow the impact of what she is doing before releasing it to build into new landscapes makes her pieces almost akin to orchestral works, comprising of many smaller movements that are built upon and advanced continuously over time.
Indeed, the dichotomy present in Jakobsons’ sound palette could, at first glance, appear to be risky in that the worlds of dense, synthesised noise and the violin have, perhaps in the past, appeared to be rather mutually exclusive. Yet within Glass Canyon, this exclusivity seems to disappear, with - although admittedly somewhat processed - violin sounds not meshing with, but instead building upon a foundation of synth in a seamless fashion. Yet this makes the release sound very two dimensional. Jakobsons’ skills as a synth player are not to, in any way, be considered as secondary to her violin playing - indeed, the playing on the release ranges from beautiful, crushed- organic layers of sound on Crystal Orchard to what could potentially morph into the beginning of an early acid-house record on Cobalt Waters, before again becoming the underlying current upon which delayed, swarming snippets of violin melody are fleetingly placed, before decaying into glitches and static fragments.
Closing with fuzzed-out, low voltage throbs of beautiful synth piano on Shale Hollows, Jakobsons out does all previous efforts in this release - a trend that will hopefully continue, in both solo and collaborative outings, far into the future.
Review by Max Hampshire