Tuesday, July 31, 2012

JAM DESHO: Joseph Nothing Orchestra - Super Earth (VBR-003)

By Steve Jones.

(JAM Desho is our feature highlighting the best from the Far East. Our retrospective on Virgin Babylon Records continues today with its third album, Super Earth by Joseph Nothing Orchestra.)

Take in that cover art over there, because you're going to be hearing what it looks like. Joseph Nothing and his Orchestra indulge in a child-like brand of electronic music in Super Earth, which makes it sound as if it would soundtrack some kid's imagining of a journey to meet aliens. It's very bright and colorful and bold and cacophonous, perhaps to a fault at times, but I can't think of many other albums which manage to sound so unique without a hint of brooding.

My first experience with the album was admittedly taxing. It's very long (72 minutes) and very upbeat, and that can be vexing to a crotchety old man like me. But I am once again glad for this look back provided by Virgin Babylon Records, because I heard a lot more that I liked this time around. Super Earth is quite dynamic, swirling tons of sounds together within a single a track, and countless sounds throughout the span of the album. This allows for whimsical moments like when a slap bass holds a otherwise sci-fi skittery track together, or when an alien voice serenades you over accordions and breakbeats.

Despite its length, I'd argue now that Super Earth is best digested all at once. To get a real sense of the kind of joyous madman Joseph Nothing is, you need the full experience. Play it while you're having outer space battles with your niece. Or play some Kirby while it's on. Just have fun.

You can stream this album from Virgin Babylon Records until August 11, so do it.

(Steve Jones wants to visit super Earth. If you know where he can find it, tell him on his Twitter @vestenet.)

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