Transcendentalism in Lofi-Infrared
Black Jupiter = Pink Floyd – Tool × Explosions in the Sky
I’ve noticed that what I really want from a new album is something that surprises me. It’s no surprise then that I’m enjoying Transcendentalism in Lofi-Infrared. This album is like a journey through the colorful, ambient expanses of outer space, with a lush thrumming pulse from bass, stringy cosmic whisperings from guitar, and distant explosions of light from drums. Black Jupiter is the solo project of Don Claxton, and he has surely put together an album with a lot of personality this time.
My favorite part of this album is the motion that occurs between songs. The journey begins with “Walls Melt (feat. Abizviq),” which starts with a mysterious and somber melody that spills into the vacant and moody atmosphere of “Fear Becomes a Faith.” Things get a bit spicier with “The Last Ocean” as the guitar playing heats up and the tempo rises. There are solid bass lines throughout the entire sonic voyage, but in “Still Alive,” the bass drives a relaxed pulse, which is perfect for the lo-fi, bubbly atmosphere created by the guitar. The album’s denouement with “Soul Manufacturer” and “Shadows” is decidedly more positive than earlier songs, and concludes the expedition on a high note with acoustic guitar and more substantial rhythms.
Though Transcendentalism in Lofi-Infrared has an occasionally slow pace, there are some great ideas that flourish in the ephemeral drumming and sporadic bass lines. For an album that touts itself as lo-fi right in the title, this is exactly the kind of experience I would have expected, and more than a few surprises, which got me hooked on the somber underpinnings that Claxton has created. There is a definite narrative that spans the album, and each time I take a ride, I notice different accents throughout the cosmic journey. Best of all, you can stream all of Black Jupiter’s music on Bandcamp before you buy. If you’re looking for a spacy, hazy voyage through fields of guitar melodies, forests of bass lines and valleys of echoing drum grooves, look no further than Transcendentalism in Lofi-Infrared. –Alex Blackburn