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April 20, 2024

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9902 (Jliat)

By: Jeb Branin

The latest from JLIAT (aka James Whitehead) took me completely by surprise. I'm astonished. This 71 minute piece is certainly another solid brick in the wall of JLIAT drone, make no mistake, but this new CD is the most variant and complex offering I've ever heard from James. While still maintaining all of his minimalistic qualities and expressions (elements uniquely offered him via this medium), this latest CD expands the equation with far more tone variety and depth. This is the latest step in a process. On the "May" LP James created a drone piece that incorporated a thicker and more dense sound and now the rises and falls present in this piece seem to be the next logical step beyond that. He has taken the artificial variables introduced by a mind trying to interpret drone and has given them a life of their own. In essence he has brought the dream into the real world. In previous work he created the creature, now he gives it breathe and a voice. For me this CD is like an unveiling of something I have suspected existed for a long time. For years I have followed the sound of JLIAT through multiple CDs, tapes, and records. I have followed and now it has led me somewhere. A vista where drone is not just a drone. It is like the pouring of color into a black and white print or the adding of flesh to a skeleton... If I give you the impression this is my favorite piece from James, then I am doing something right. I can't say what impact this CD would have on a virgin JLIAT listener but for at least one long time follower this is stunning.
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