This is one of my favorite albums of 2014. I’ll be publishing a few full album streams before and after my Best of 2014 list, so stay tuned.
Jo Johnson popped onto my radar with brightly minimalist cover art on nodata.tv and a promise of synthesized dreaminess. I got exactly that and more. Listen now with this full album stream.
The appeal of this album, for me, is how she blends a loosely spiritual feeling, akin to Alice Coltrane (who she apparently nods to with the first track) with the cold kosmiche arpeggios found in the best work by Manuel Göttsching (Ash Ra Tempel) or Vangelis’ iconic Blade Runner score. This is as computer-based as anything in the psychedelic synth world, but there’s a warmth and pathos permeating every second of the brief album.
The title track and final piece are big highlights for me. In the latter, she breaks the futuristic-meditation mold and cracks straight into some twisted ambient techno, the likes of which Future Sound Of London or early Aphex Twin may have delivered.