Jason Sharp (CAN)
Label: Constellation records
Period: October / November
From the opening harrowing bars of Matana Roberts’ ‘Coin Coin Chapter One’, to the far off and spooky presences throughout Nadah El Shazly’s ‘Ahwar’, A Silver Mt Zion’s later works, and performed his soundtrack to Daichi Saito's film Engram of Returning at SONIC ACTS festival Amsterdam and 25FPS festival Zagreb; Jason Sharp has been affecting his focused impact on experimental and alternative music from his base in Montreal for a long time. Most recently, he deservedly receives the spotlight for experiments wholeheartedly in his own league.
‘Stand Above The Streams’ out on Montreal’s effervescent Constellation Records in February 2018 summons a plethora of intrigue and glows with multiple energy rarely seen from a single source.
“This music was performed wearing a customized heart monitor providing a single pulse to trigger analogue drums, sine wave patterns, controlled feedback, and synthesizers in real time. All electronic rhythmic material stems from this source."
Sharp’s trump card is his focused exploration of the body and technology, a focus which informs both his recordings, and live performance. 2016’s Debut ‘A Boat Upon Its Blood’ already made use of a heart monitor and amplified breath to trigger various rhythmic and textural elements, and approach expanded upon for 2018’s ‘Stand Above The Streams’, through the use of a new custom developed MIDI apparatus for further triggering and syncing synths. Sharp’s whole live show, every sound, starts from his body; rhythms are generated by his heart beat. A holistically human initiation, of the otherworldly ambiences which are his complete sound.
In tandem with Sharp’s bass and baritone playing, collaborator and sound artist Adam Basanta contributes to the manipulation of the experienced output. Basanta uses his custom bespoke ‘controlled feedback’ amplification system to attest ‘melodic and micro-tonal elements flowing amidst waves of atmospheric pink and brown noise, low-end modulation and calibrated distortion.’ The pair create a ‘John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream - esque soundtrack, electrifying it with the viscera of the body.’
“Sharp continues to synthesise his vast array of influences into his distinctive style of electroacoustic music, leading to even more microscopic detail and alien timbres. Stand Above The Streams makes it clear that the home of post-rock is carving out a niche as the home of whatever lies beyond.” The Wire
“an album that throws us into the foray of a human body experience based on those human time clocks influencing our own bodies, moving our own hearts to a hurried tense pace as droning saxophone performances add layers of emotion and depth to the experience.” Echoes and Dust
“a work of highly tuned suspense. Sharp’s confluence of primal and visionary techniques further prove he is a singular talent on a record that relinquishes limpid clarity for something startlingly unfamiliar and yet strangely lucid. The result is bewitching, and decidedly human.” Music Ohm
"Stand Above The Streams Pt. 4" (Live Excerpt)
Mail: andrew[at]phantom-limb.co.uk (UK, EU)