Our first mixtape of the year is here and it is amazing, put together by Toronto based composer and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Shabason. Known for his longtime collaboration with Destroyer and DIANA, he is also a busy recording artist and touring musician. Marrying jazz and ambient, Shabason first enticed us with his debut album Aytche, which he followed up last year with Anne, a beguiling and affecting album that made it to our Album Picks of 2018. So we're over the moon he found the time to pick this marvellous mix of tracks for us!
John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman – Lush Life [Impulse!]
Prefab Sprout – Nightingales [Kitchenware Records / CBS]
Mid-Air Thief – Why? [Botanical House]
Bernice – David [Arts & Crafts]
Arve Henriksen – Patient Zero [Rune Grammofon]
Beverly Glenn-Copeland – Ever New [Atlast Records]
Last month we heard the poignantly beautiful ‘Forest Run’, the first single from Joseph Shabason‘s upcoming album Anne. The Toronto based composer and multi-instrumentalist has shared a second single called ‘November’, which saw him collaborate with Italian ambient composer Gigi Masin of Gaussian Curve. Gigi describes this collaboration:
“Writing music together without actually being in the same room it’s pretty easy these days. However, by doing so you can often lose something in the process: the human touch. I’m a firm believer that the human touch is indispensable, certain situations work much better when that’s considered. This is exactly what happened with Joseph – a talented person, also a very patient one who’s been able to endure my constant giving advice and to translate our humanity into music, especially our different points of view. A beautiful and rare thing.”
Shabason also had this to say:
“About four years ago my friend Graeme told me to listen to the album Wind by Gigi Masin. Listening to Wind was one of those musical moments where you feel like you’re listening to something that you’ve been waiting for all your life.”
A year on from the release of Aytche, Toronto based composer and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Shabason is back with a second album called Anne. Named after his mother, the album is a personal affair and reads like a musical essay on Parkinson’s Disease, which his mum suffered from. The album is is centred around interviews Shabason had done with her on how the disease affected her and how she viewed herself. Shabason, as the album’s blurb describes, “unwraps these difficult themes with great care and focus revealing the unseen aspects of degenerative diseases that force us to re-examine common notions of self, identity, and mortality.”
Anne will see the light of day on November 16th through Western Vinyl and we can already hear the poignantly beautiful first single ‘Forest Run’.
Composer and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Shabason is well known for his longtime membership in Destroyer and DIANA. Shabason also keeps himself busy producing, playing and recording with several other bands, mainly lending his talent on the sax and flute. This year will see him release his debut album, Aytche, an effort inspired and following the work of artists like Pat Metheny who recorded Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, and John Hassell’s collaboration with Terry Riley and Brian Eno.
Marrying minimalism and jazz, on Aytche, and as the press release describes, “Shabason builds a bridge off of the precipice his forbears established, skirting jazz, ambient, and even new age with the same deliberate genre-ambiguity that made their work so interesting.”
Shabason explains his approach to the sax on the album:
“So much sax music is about chops, and being able to solo really fast. I feel like robbing the sax of the ability to shred by effecting it and turning it into a dense chordal instrument really helps the instrument become something that it’s not usually known for.”
The album’s gentle title track is the first single to emerge and you can stream it below.