Verdict = Brooding headphone candy of the highest quality
I think this is pretty much true of all the releases we discuss here on FG (AKA music in general), but for Jasper Tx’s Black Sleep let me recommend the use of headphones. I’m not talking about your stock iPod earbuds either; it is important that you have a good pair of heavy duty headphones that fit like enormous earmuffs or aviation tower communication equipment when listen to the latest from Mr. Dag Rosenqvist (the Swedish mastermind that is Jasper Tx). Black Sleep inhabits an aural arena characterized by its overwhelmingly transportative tones, multilayered textures and expansive, lulling structures. Jasper Tx has already proven himself the master of this arena, but Black Sleep is, simply put, Rosenqvist’s masterpiece. There is often a overly weighted divide among Jasper Tx contemporaries which finds artists either straying too far into droning experimentation or relying too heavily post rock instrumentals. On Black Sleep, Rosenqvist has achieved a perfect balance between the two by incorporating and overlapping both gorgeous instrumental melodics and hauntingly evasive atmospherics. The fact that Black Sleep’s six tracks are identified in parts rather than by various names is indicative of the cohesive nature of the album as a whole. Rosenqvist balances moods of brooding ambience with the entrance of quaintly uplifting or sorrowful guitars and shifting audio deterioration. Throughout the record, this combination of musical modes builds into a series of glorious peaks and treacherous valleys. The entrance and departure of various instruments and melodic patterns play out like engaging characters in Black Sleep’s narrative. It's simply one of those albums that demands your complete attention from start to finish and rewards you with an experience rarely accomplished by contemporary music; so grab some headphones, a copy of Black Sleep and find yourself a good, comfortable, secluded area and let Jasper Tx lull you into a deep, black slumber.
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