Jasper Lee set to release Mirror of Wind tomorrow on Noumenal Loom, shares album inspiration mix

Jasper Lee set to release Mirror of Wind tomorrow on Noumenal Loom, shares album inspiration mix

As musical polymaths go, Jasper Lee ranks up with most that spring to mind — Jim O’Rourke, Damon Albarn, Stephin Merritt, er, Jewel — he is just not as well known. That may change soon, because you can’t keep an uber-talented whiz kid hidden long. Lee works as a mixed-media artist and records occasionally with Tuscaloosa’s swamp spirits Them Natives and the music-improv collective Flusnoix. He is the creator of the pyraharp, a sculptural 3D design/instrument that uses piano wire attached to a central neck with pinblock manipulation to produce unpredictable but mesmerizing tense twangs. His IMDb entry has listings for composer, music department, director, actor, cinematographer, art director, and producer. It would not surprise me at all if he not only has the saltine cracker challenge mastered, but can also do it with aesthetic panache.

For our purposes, the focus is on Lee’s solo music and the release of his Mirror of Wind album out tomorrow on the category-defying Noumenal Loom label. Lee delights in odd song shapes, haunting exotica, and gorgeously primitive, esoteric film music (think tiki-torch songs braided with nomad jazz, adorned with a ribbon of latter-day Broadcast) that always reveals more of his artistic muse than most.

Mainly known for releasing bunches of wayward music excursions on cassette, Lee’s effort marks the third album release from Garrett Crosby (Holly Waxwing) and Isabell Barnes’s Birmingham-based imprint. Like Earthly’s Days and Giant Claw’s Dark Web, Mirror of Wind is limited (300 copies), so get in while the getting’s grand.

A look-see into the musical headspace Lee was in while recording the album can be found in the form of a mix graciously given by the artist himself. Free to anyone who can click a mouse or touch a pad, Mirror Mythos Mix is available via SoundCloud here. A stream of “Primeval Currents,” as well as the tracklists for Mirror of Wind and Mirror Mythos Mix, follow Lee’s description of the mix:

..These are some things I was listening to a lot while writing Mirror of Wind. I wanted to make a mix as eclectic as my tastes typically are……so you’ll find score music cues, folk ballads, dub plates, and strange singer-songwriters. Some of the songs included had no direct bearing on the sound of the album, but were nonetheless deeply inspirational. For instance I have a huge love for the music of Lee “Scratch” Perry, one of my heroes…….although I’m not doing dance oriented music like he does, I do take on the same kind of spiritual attitude to recording….and there are some dub elements in the way I mix things. One thing I really want to capture in music is a feeling of timelessness. I think this comes from listening to a lot of old records I find at the thrift store….exotica records mostly….these strange documents that have been discarded from some other era of time, but still seem fresh and relevant to me. Bali Ha’i became my own personal theme song, and Shangri-La an ecstatic anthem for dreams…

Mirror of Wind tracklist:

01. Mirror of Wind
02. Quaint Gothic Spring
03. Bamboo Shack
04. Hex Prism Palace
05. Unbound
06. Veils of Crocus
07. Primeval Currents
08. Lough Derg
09. Milk of Air
10. Asleep a Hundred Years

Mirror Mythos Mix tracklist:

- Ferrante & Teicher : Shangri-La (introduction), from Pianos in Paradise
- Spike Jones New Band : Shangri-La, from My Man
- Ennio Morricone : L.A. Bambola, from Veruschka (Poesia Di Una Donna)
- Grupo De Experimentacion : Repentino, from Mirror To The Soul : Music, Culture and Identity In The Caribbean 1920 - 72
- Tudor Lodge : Willow Tree, from Tudor Lodge
- Antônio Carlos Jobim : Insensatez, from The Composer of Desafinado Plays
- King Tubby : Jerusalem Dub, from Yabby You - Jesus Dread: Chanting Style
- Scott Walker : The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated to the Neo-Stalinist Regime), from Scott 4
- Tak Shindo : Bali Ha’i, from Brass and Bamboo
- Jansug Kakhidze : Legend of Surami Fortress, from the film Legend of Surami Fortress
- Harry Partch : 11 Instrusions - 1. Study On Olympos’ Pentatonic, from Harry Partch Collection, Vol. 1
- Les Baxter : The Left Arm Of Buddha, from The Exotic Moods Of Les Baxter
- Lee “Scratch” Perry : Curly Locks, from Roast Fish Collie Weed & Corn Bread
- Nico Fidenco : Wild Nightmare, from Emanuelle e Gli Ultimi Cannibali / Zombi Holocaust
- Gal Costa : Lua, Lua, Lua, Lua, from Cantar
- Paul Giovanni : The Masks, from The Wicker Man Soundtrack
- Franco Battiato : Fenomenologia, from Fetus
- Midori Takada : Mr. Henri Rousseau’s Dream, from Through The Looking Glass

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