Kassel Jaeger and Jim O’Rourke take us on a journey with In Cobalt Aura SleepsJoshua Minsoo Kimon May 8, 2020 at 7:19 pm

In 2017, Paris-based electroacoustic composer Kassel Jaeger (born Francois Bonnet) and Chicago-born multi-instrumentalist Jim O’Rourke joined forces for Wakes on Cerulean, a kaleidoscopic duo recording filled with shape-shifting electronics and field recordings. On their brand-new second collaborative album, In Cobalt Aura Sleeps (Editions Mego), they aim to convey a similarly rapturous experience, but the piece they deliver develops in an even more striking and engaging manner. The recording begins with the serene, soothing sounds of waves, insects, and birds, before a spurt of electronics makes evident the artists’ presence. Queasy tones introduce a cryptic atmosphere, and the mood changes again as swirling, sparkling synths take on an astral sheen that transports you into space. Thankfully, In Cobalt Aura Sleeps never becomes garishly epic; though it mutates into something larger, it does so patiently, before receding into a vortex of sputtering noise. The most affecting passage comes last: a meditative tapestry of electronics weaves through the sound of rushing water, perhaps sampled from a creek, whose constant bubbling gives you a surprisingly squeamish feeling. It’s as if you’ve been transported to the ancient Earth and left simmering in primordial soup. v

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