Entanglement by Jessica MossRelease date: October 26, 2018
Label: Constellation Records
If you’ve ever hit on any of the brilliant releases by Montreal’s Constellation label, or some other more ‘out there’ artists, at some point, you must have heard the violin or backing vocals of Jessica Moss. Whether it is in the form of her ‘regular’ gig with Thee Silver Mt. Zion… or as a guest for Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Johnny Greenwood, Carla Bozulich, Stars of The Lid and host of others.
While her first solo album Pools of Light from 2017 almost slipped by unnoticed, her latest, Entanglement shouldn’t. It would be a great shame! Moss has almost an absolute command of musical space – she just doesn’t count on the notes she produces themselves, but also on the spaces that are created between them, something that is essential for the music she presents here. And all that based on her voice and violin (with or without electronic effects).
The basic idea was to channel “quantum theory as a metaphor for creating energetic connections through esoteric processes”. And while that explanation itself might sound a bit esoteric, Moss is able to actually do exactly that in the opening, extended piece ‘Particles’. Starting out with electronically processed sounds that sound like particles bouncing off your speakers, the composition develops into a full orchestral piece, in a way reminiscent of Labradford’s ‘V’ of Mi Media Naranja, but with a musical life completely its own. The atmosphere created is exactly like the cover image – looking at light from the shadows of a darkened room.
The remaining four pieces, ‘Fractals’ (Truth 1-4), are violin and voice explorations with very little additional processing that sound like shimmers that come and go, well, I guess like…fractals. As the pieces progress, they become more and more musically impressive, with Truth 3 and Truth 4 being particularly impressive.
The overall effect of the music Jessica Moss creates on Entanglement is of the subdued tension of a calm before the storm,; maybe the storm will come next.