Mangkhut or John Cage Blues by Jeremy Sharma


Jeremy Sharma | Mangkhut or John Cage Blues
Self-Released (DL)

Singaporean artist Jeremy Sharma opted to create a surreal album in a Hong Kong Hotel during typhoon Mangkhut (w/additional recordings from trips to Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam). This teeters between field recordings, old records (or live performance?) and electronic vibes (as in the instrument, not the sensation). There are distinctly soft spoken Asian themes woven through this, along with fumbling through tall reeds or window blinds, but the trudging on Cuss Loso is quite organic.

The overall feel of the record is somewhat withdrawn, like an outsider’s perspective of a situation. It’s both delicate and clunky, and not necessarily in that order, with a drifting moodiness, emphasized by melodic tones that meander in nonconcrete ways. For a moment I feel as though I am smack dab in a market or village in one of the places Sharma has traveled. But these moments are sparse, blended and dependent on the discombobulated playfulness (ie. All Sw). His is an animated scape, like an acid-fueled visit to a mall or other public place, dappled with lots of shops and distractions.

Like the composer in its title, there are many unexplained, unexpected u-turns, but one of the standouts for these olde ears is Auras Tali, because of it’s scaled-down simplicity, its minimal quietude, scratchiness and physicality — ending with pinging jazzy inflections that dance to the borderline. Not afraid to dip his toes into discordant noise, but find an exotic way to balance with the sound of the outdoors, along with interpolated harmonic riffs, this is no simply back-pocket record. There’s a lot of in-between, perhaps everything in fact, making this a quasi cornucopia of aural delights.

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