Within The Temporal Experience

Jonas Kasper Jensen


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Jonas Kasper Jensen’s album Within the temporal experience is an atmospheric and dense sculptural experience where slow drones encloses the listener like waves. It is composed with altered recordings of string instruments and is Jensen’s first take on an album with classic elements.

The artistic intention behind this album is seeking the boundary between music and bare sound. The method Jensen uses for this investigation is to play around with the need for variation to make a composition become music. As such, Within The Temporal Experience invites the listener to dig into a dissolved and decentralized being, where everything and nothing is described at the same time and as such plays with the temporal experience in music.

In this way Jensen’s new album stands in opposition to his album Layers Of Bridges that was to be understood as a sonic sculpture that invites the listener to explore the subjective creations of listening. Within the temporal experience strives to do the opposite by being the negation of a central perspective.

Jonas Kasper’s electronic universe evokes a dialogue between music and art. Sound and physical material is inseparable to Jonas Kasper Jensen and his compositions are an integrated aspect of his artistic praxis.

Marcus Döller made the cover text especially for the release. Marcus is a philosopher who lives in Frankfurt and works with topics about Practical Philosophy, Epistemology and Aesthetics. His texts and thoughts has had a strong inspiration on the sound of Within The Temporal Experience. He opens the cover text with the following: “Music creates a silence within the sound. It creates a silence in the sound through the stretching of time as an expansion which creates a form of intensification within the temporal experience.”

Jensens previous drones and atmospheres work was built from electronic sources, but for this new 6-track collection the key ingredient is processed recordings of string instruments. These long, organic sustained notes and tones are layered up, reworked and effected into otherworldly environments that certainly sound deeply electronic, but the string roots don’t disappear and it never wholly detaches from classical string instrument timbres and the emotional shortcuts that they provide.

As such, what we’ve got here is a decidedly emotive collection of drones. Its surprisingly warm at times, with glacially slow pitch changes working the tone in and out of pleasantness but never getting truly harsh. There are noise elements, for example in Eternity In Finitude, but they are, like everything else here, polished and softened into abroad gentleness.

It often languishes at the edge of your attention – Silence Within The Sound and most-melodic final track The Passing By both sounding like they could have been written for a tense moment in a video game where the audio was intended to unnerve you without properly being heard. There are occasional shades of rhythm, subtle pulsations within A Shape Within A Material that are barely audible yet carefully increase the tension aspect. From The One To The Other might be a good gateway track with which to introduce the deeper stuff to fans of M83 or Radiohead who might be interested in delving deeper into what electronic music has to offer.

As temporal experiences of albums go it’s rather short, barely scraping over 30 minutes. Seeking the boundaries between true music and naked sound has brought Jensen into territory that won’t sound especially new or revolutionary to long-time listeners of ambient, but nevertheless its a polished and high-quality sounding example of its kind and it does have the power to hit a nerve.

The border is often vague between organic and electronic music, and for composers using the characteristics of either or both, it can be a challenge to develop worlds that delimits on deviant and disturbing acoustic sensations.

This sensation is definitely blurred on Jonas Kasper Jensen’s Within The Temporal Experience, with the result that we are immersed in a bath of drones that originates from string recordings. The tracks have the power of a symphonic sailing through troubled waters, where the effects of breath and experimental manipulations are not without evoking the work of Gas.

The artist is able to blend the silken atmospheres with celestial layers and telluric forces, drawing the contours of ambient geographies in combinations with elastic flexibility. A mighty opus that lives in large spaces and with floral vegetation in motion. Superb. (Roland Torres)

Danish artist Jonas Kasper Jensen delivered his second album on the Chilean imprint Clang earlier this year. And it’s one of the most exquisite experimental compositions that we’ve heard in quite some time. Featuring morphing waves that vary in order to generate space within the sound frequencies, interludes with sustained texture and deepness, steady drones over shifting environments that generate dizziness, and waves of sound that would be almost tangible if played through a proper sound system.

Our pick is A Shape Within A Material, the second cut of the LP. It is more subtle; here the digitally processed strings and things seem to be on a distance, the confluence of those sounds together generate a sonic juxtaposition of great ambitions. All in all, the album is not an intense drone experience rather than something with remnants of the edge between music and raw sound formations. We know, it is an acquired taste, but these types of work are indeed a great entrance to a new sonic dimension.

Compositions by Jonas Kasper Jensen

Produced and mixed by Jonas Kasper Jensen
Mastered by Lars Graugaard
Artwork text Marcus Döller

To be released way down the line in early fall, actually on September 28th, 2k18, is Jonas Kasper Jensen’s new album on Clang, a six track piece in which the Danish artist sets out to work on the reprocessed recordings of string instruments. Opening with “An Indeterminacy Of Silence” we see him embark on an intense, slightly unnerving journey meandering in between ambient pads and obviously distorted, out of kilter midrange droning, “A Shape Within A Material” gravitates towards classic ambient structures and “Silence Within The Sound” brings forth more warm pads and drones for genre lovers, with the occasional beautiful piano sound engrained in the slowly moving sonic flow. Furthermore “Eternity Within Finitude” caters well eternal droning pleasure dissolving space-time-perceptions once again, “From The One To The Other” – our favorite tune on the album – provides warm, autumnal melancholia for lost spaces of the heart and the final cut “The Passing By” adds a little bit of an eerie, haunting aspect to the ambient genre, employing large scale production value and a remarkably spatial approach that surely qualifies this one to be used as a score piece in an epic feature film for a reason. Good stuff.

Although he is mainly active in the visual arts, sound often plays a role in the installations of this Dane Jonas Kasper Jensen. He is also part of the electronic improvisation collective wulkan. On his second digital solo album he goes in search of the ultimate melodic kaboom by distorting sounds of stringed instruments from a computer. Jensen is surprisingly good in the familiar surroundings of this overrepresented genre, with which we do not want to say that his rich drones are averse us.

The most interesting pieces are bending towards the Brian Eno-variant of ambient by the insertion of vaguely recognizable sounds, for example an ominous cello pattern or piano resonance. Some veiled fragments in combination with titles like An Indeterminacy Of Silence and the album name remind us of Vidna Obamana. In short: for those who have never been confronted with drones of ambient, Within the Temporal Experience is certainly suitable as a starting point. The listening experience gets extra depth if you try to decipher philosopher Marcus Döller’s cover text on theories about music, silence and the stretching of time.

Within The Temporal Experience, released digitally on ​​Clang Records, is the new album by Jonas Kasper Jensen and presents a journey into the depths of the unconscious where remote and disturbing fears are intertwined with hopes and dreams. It is an album which is both an experience of listeling and travel as well as an attempt to look inside ourselves without fictions or easy solutions.

Ambient with experimental traits characterize the sound of Jensen’s electronics, as they attempt to explore the link between true music and naked sound. Echoes of Jon Hopkins, Nicholas Jaar, and even DJ Koze and Brian Eno appear in the work that is laid out in six pieces, some of them rather long. An Indeterminacy of Silence opens the album, immediately searching for a certain objectivity of sound, unlike Jensen’s preceding album Layers of Bridges where the purpose was to stimulate the subjectivity of the listener in the presence of every single note. The materiality of the sound as an actual iron sculpturing is also manifest in the second piece, A Shape Within a Material. Mercurial and dreamlike with moments that even touch on shoe-gaze, as it is also stated in the cover text by the philosopher Marcus Döller, where he writes that “music creates a silence in the sound“. Jensen’s poly-directional metamorphosis continues in the short Silence Within the Sound where he explores the depths of the human unconscious.

A summary of Silence Within the Sound is next up, as the inexorable and powerful Eternity Within Finitude reveals itself as a dark, tribal episode where contradictory sounds – just as the titles, in fact! – continuously appear as complex, heavy buildings that indeed are massive but seem doomed to collapse at the first breath one takes. Eternity, finiteness, majesty, lightness: everything enters into the circle and everything seems to inexorably last forever and die away from one moment to the next. From the One to the Other attempts to leave this land and traverse the space by means of an arrangement similar to David Bowie’s Subterraneans, in an upward motion that turns into a call for help, from danger and fear. The Passing By concludes the album, and it is a piece of purer electronics, seemingly in an attempt to reconcile – in due recognition of the difficulties and uncertainties, the sense of finitude and majesty that frightens all human beings as they struggles with conflicting feelings, as well as the awareness of while being able to overpower everything, we are at the same time subject to the possible destruction by anything. In Jensen’s music this ungraspable dichotomy lives, grows and triumphs without any intervening judgment, being it positive or negative: to overcome and to win is just the bare manifestation of sound and the (limited) human nature. (Samuel Conficoni)

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