by Tom Haugen, Take Effect
Jason Kao Hwang is an extremely talented artist with an iconoclastic vision, and here he takes the company of an equally unique mind, J.A. Deane, who handles electronics like few others will even attempt.
“Parallel Universe” opens the listen, and it makes a sizable impression with its waves of sci-fi like noises and ambient textures that hardly seem like they could originate on this planet, and “Singularity” follows with manipulated strings, electronic tinkering and a whole lot of imagination.
In the middle, the low sounds of “Crossing The Horizon” emit a bit of an ominous quality, while “Shamans Of Light” is downright haunting in its strategic squealing and eerie layers of avant-garde jazz.
The listen exits on “Speaking In Tongues” and the title track, where the former is awash in buzzing electronics, and the latter spends 20 minutes mesmerizing us with its strategic balance of space and tension.
Very tragically, Deane did not see this body of work in its finished form, as he passed away from a cancer he chose not to seek treatment for. Instead, he wished to transition with his life partner, who had passed away in 2019. An innovator in electronic music from the ‘80s, his contributions here are awe inspiring, and certainly help illuminate Hwang’s violin, overdrive, distortion, fuzz, wah-wah, phaser and whammy acrobatics.
Travels well with: Jason Kao Hwang- Human Rites Trio; Steve Tintweiss Spacelight Band- Live At NYU: 1980