Three songs totaling three-quarter hours. That’s a scenario you’d expect from masterful instrumental acts like Godspeed You! Black Emperor or early electronic geniuses like Klaus Schulze. In a way, on Aerial Roots CJ Boyd channels both artists. He has the instrumental aspects of the former and the minimalist drone of the later. “Everytime I Don The Ski Mask” mixes various loops and, for the most part, maintains a delicate balance between complex minimalism and meditative consistency. Aerial Roots is an expansive aural state of being on par with the metaphysical experience.
What makes Boyd’s music intriguing is his seemingly sole use of acoustics. There are loops, and ethereal electronic drones, but the melody is carried by what sounds like an acoustic bass, an acoustic guitar, and occasional percussion. There are moments of paroxysms in which sound build to explosive heights, but for the most part Boyd maintains the calm, reigns it in, and, in a way, tames it. Instrumental, Aerial Roots is a beast ready to pounce but it never quite does. Boyd has pieced together a sound that yearns for more but, as much as it wants to, never quite gives in to temptation.
CJ Boyd: We Know Time (Excerpt) [mp3]
[audio:091110-cj_boyd-we_know_time-excerpt.mp3|titles=We Know Time (Excerpt)|artists=CJ Boyd]
Joyful Noise Recordings [CD, 2009]
1. Everytime I Don The Ski Mask
2. Pensive Pez
3. We Know Time