Daniel Wiggins aka Jeanscape is an artist from Australia who creates soundscapes. On his 2016 release The Strand he took us through a vast terrain through sonic imagery that surrounded the senses. On his latest release Discord he again tantalizes the senses although I would say this music isn’t for the faint of heart. Wiggins has stated that Discord represents a conscious effort to create a consistently claustrophobic atmosphere from beginning to end. I can confirm that he achieved his goal.
For those of you familiar with the work of artists like Tim Hecker, Scott Walker (The Drift) and Pharmakon Jeanscape’s music should be a welcome addition. For those that are not this may take some getting used to.
The album starts off with “Birth” which is an apt name. The sound he creates reverberates in an embryonic state of being that is somewhere between life and death. However as the track progresses you begin to feel as if you are trapped with no real escape. A sense of dread washed over me as the song was approaching the five-minute-mark. The tail end of the track is covered in an ominous fog that does not feel inviting.
The journey continues through the harsh, dissonant sounds of “Chronicle.” Binaural sounds seem to be implemented on the track “Chaos Rains.” A dichotomy of sounds emerge. To the left is a distant electric piano that sounds as if it is off to the horizon. To the right are atonal noises that contradict the melody that is whispered into my ear.
“Hymn Of Sanctity” is arguably the most terrifying song. Who knows where the vocals came from but they don’t sound human anymore? There is a demonic/angelic quality to the vocal elements which are used in the first half of the song.
“March Me Towards Truth” was not only claustrophobic but gave me the feeling that bugs and insects at a very fast speed were crawling over my body. Vocals snippets pierce the light fog of “The Human Condition” while “Death, Rebirth” begins a single source of sound that divides into haunting passages.
If you read my description I think it's obvious that this music isn’t for everyone and for those who appreciate this type of sound exploration there is probably a time and place. It may not be great music to play at your friend's birthday party or working out to. That being said Discord is an exploration of sounds and its possibilities. In this case Jeanscape decides to evoke an ethereal vibration that seemed to rest outside the conscious mind. Whether you are familiar with this type of music or not I encourage you to take the ride at least once and see what you make of it.
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