|“as soothing as ASMR” – The Coast|
“undiluted gorgeousness” – PopMatters
“stylistic and visionary” (8/10) – Exclaim!
Dance Music vol.II: More Songs for Slow Motion, Joshua Van Tassel‘s sixth LP, is held together by a string quartet, electronics to create beautiful sounds in a time replete with ugliness, and the Ondea – a contemporary re-creation of the famed french synthesizer the Ondes Martenot.
– listen // order wildflower seed print // watch videos –
“meditative…like sand reshaped by wind” – Aquarium Drunkard
“elegant and expressive” – Headphone Commute
|The Ondes Martenot (OHND mar-tə-NOH) is an elegantly intricate hand-built machine that lives with the theremin as one of the world’s earliest electronic instruments (c.1928). Its inventor, the cellist Maurice Martenot, was a radio operator in WWI and wanted to duplicate the accidental overlaps of tones between radio oscillators, but with the expressiveness and emotion of cello. The Ondes is a rare collectible now, but there is an option in the Ondea. Itself an exclusive membership, they’re Ondes modernized by Calgary’s David Kean.|
– Read Jennifer Kelly’s interview with JVT for PopMatters –
Van Tassel, no stranger to concepts and themes, made the first Dance Music, 2014’s Songs For Slow Motion, as a gift for his dancer wife to play in her sessions as a craniosacral therapist. Between that volume and this one, he’s busied himself with his regular gigs: Playing with Donovan Woods, Amelia Curran, and Rose Cousins; producing albums for Sarah Slean, Megan Bonnell; and composing music for Laurie Brown’s podcast Pondercast.“I love making this kind of music and I do a lot of it for Pondercast. But I’m careful—I don’t want to be pegged as ambient man,” he says. “I don’t think of Dance Music as ambient music. It’s composed music, it’s written to have a certain vibe. It’s not just presets in a keyboard.”That vibe of meticulously composed intention extends to the entire package. Van Tassel again teamed up with the Halifax artist Geordan Moore – who illustrated 2018’s Crossworlds, about an old woman defending her small island from a giant sea creature – who has printed the album’s cover on seed paper.“You’re going to be able to plant the prints and they’ll grow into wildflowers,” says Van Tassel. “You can put the record on, and literally watch a plant grow.”