Jasper TX

If beauty is a result of tragedy, then Swedish indie whiz kid Dag Rosenqvist has picked the right name for his band. His heavily processed, static-based compositions may have little in common with the site of a Texas racial tragedy, but the pure emotion Jasper TX wrenches in this dense and melancholy opus is certainly fitting. The opening cut, "Blown out to sea, I'm never coming back," isn't lighthearted stuff--after five minutes of ambient layers of static, a distant drum pulse ushers in an absolutely lovely piano refrain, which then builds into a hypnotic drone before abruptly halting. The seven lengthy pieces might all be this odd, but they share a fondness for the organic, the ebb and flow of field recordings and the innate power of sounds barely above silence--what Brian Eno talked about as the necessity to listen to the unnecessary. On the opening minute of "Braille," tape hiss actually drowns out the piano, creating a strange outcome, as if it's up to the listener to choose which sound is paramount. Simultaneously epic and remote, Jasper TX succeeds in his noisy niche with a lot of collected meanderings folded and compressed into songs that sing without words.


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