Artist: Steve Jansen
Album: The Extinct Suite

Released: 6 March 2017
Label: self-released

The Extinct Suite Steve Jansen
We are attracted to people who will share something of themselves with us. Steve Jansen does so extraordinarily throughout The Extinct Suite (55'46"). Letting go of his need for fixed answers, Jansen seems to be living his way into this work - to become new to himself in ways that matter. His continuous, extensive, wordless structures are so beautifully rendered that Jansen easily pulls us over to his side. At times moving at a muted, measured pace, tones fight gravity - as music enters from a strange wayward place. Searching through the rubble of memory, a series of unresolved chords further advances a disconcerting state. As Jansen's internal guidance directs this music through its moods and atmospheres, ensemble instruments sustain alongside synthesizers and samplers. Noticing a digital debris vignetting the drama of piano notes and building cinema strings, we find a bewitching quality of sonic stillness. Quiet sections settle as does the dust that hides the glow of a rose, while further in the bending of starlight holds ethereal voices in an upper realm. Smoky textures fill a formerly vacant spot, with an unbothered keyboard driving scales of notes above. Silvery flute lines breathe along a dulcet arc, countered later by metallic drones and a listless ambiance. As each theme, form and motif emerges, sustains and resolves, it should be understood that no matter how puzzling or diffuse, the only way for the audience to get through this realization is to give our selves over to it. Expertly rendered in a most fragile theater of time The Extinct Suite helps us become vulnerable to the beauty of existence. Jansen manages to bring the listener into his world - which is often a gorgeous realm. In a kind of cursive grace he travels down a number of mental musical corridors, never leaving anyone behind. Sound has always been a secondary consideration in music, yet throughout The Extinct Suite it is of primary concern. Lacking limits, this album is a continuous delight to the ear, and to the mind.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   6 September 2018

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