A Few 2022 Tapes from PJS
1.3.23 by Matty McPherson
Patrick Dique & Jordan Christoff have been in it for awhile. The duo’s work as PJS has followed from Aural Canyon to Crash Symbols; Leaving Records to Muzan Editions. Stable utilitarian zones for the plant enthusiast, the birdwatcher, the skyscraper designer, and so on and so forth. What defines a PJS release is its ability to engross a baseline atmosphere and from there, handedly either explore haptic textures, chill out room synths, or impart an undercurrent of movement and droning trance; the kind that endears them closer to raw Environments or field recording tapes than often given credit, as well as still having imaginative qualities towards sensing and creating one’s own future and spaces within. A trio of tapes across 2022 have been graciously picking at these threads and expanding PJS’ capacity for texture and endearingly nice spatial music; each slight deviation tailored to a specific moment or mood or possible time of PJS.
Origin Stories was released on Strategic Tape Reserve in Spring of 2022, and well…it does date back to some of the earliest archived material of their time working together. As a C60, it’s a hefty display of their sound systematical approach. What the tape lacks in motion, it makes up for in the amalgamation of sounds that pass through; an absolute spa of glimmers and quips that reveal why Dique and Christoff’s project has had an endearing longevity for the two chaps. I kept coming back to the tape over several evenings because I felt as if they had crafted such a pleasing snapshot of a time and place; I felt as if I was in a future looking outside the window of an apartment, watching flying automobiles and neon-light advertisements whiz by. To chill out and take in the vaporous surroundings of that timeline, more or less, could be a story enough for any brave dweller.
Back in November, the burgeoning and charitable Distant Bloom welcomed PJS into their small roster of maverick underground talents for “Time?” C50. Two longforms of near-equal length maintain the same flavor of Origin Stories, more or less. Yet, the cuts themselves are spacier and haptic-oriented. Myriads (Meridians), features slight percussive markers chewing the scenery, as a whimsy of analog effects tickle by like UFOs in the sky, as well as what appears to be somewhat processed field recordings in the mix. What’s clear as the piece goes on, is the depthless bounty of their low-end. It truly feels of a levitation that creeps up on you; an acid test in real time lighting up. Pyramids (Labyrinths) carries the same open-ended optimism of old VHS tapes on NASA rocket launches. The baseline synths create that feeling of a grand rocket launch, as all sorts of windy-synthesizer harmonics and bubbling crescendoes graciously floats and glides about the space. It’s never intense per se, but it carries all the nervous jubilance of those moments before a huge rocket launch.
梅レコード, aka Umé Records, is putting out a late December edition of PJS’ zones with the MALAHAT cassette and its two gigantic “real time, no computer, no overdubs” approach. Nautrales in indeed, the most naturalistic recording the duo has of all their 2022 era recordings. Plant life aquatic spa vibes, glistening and basking in the glow over 50 endearing minutes. Side A’s Natures often features a liquidity flowing through its choices of textures, as if rain was moving down wind chimes or into small puddles. Echoes of aberrations or cryptids stop in, but never blow the delicate and coruscating nature of this piece. Meanwhile, Nebulas is a more astrally inclined longform. The harmonics of the piece give off faint traces of white dwarf half-lifes or starry romps aboard a slow-orbiting space station above a heavenly body. There’s a weightlessness across its 25 minutes, and the duo are careful not to try and speed the peace towards an escape velocity, instead letting glimmers and woodwind-esque textures pass like friendly space debris. It chills hard, and with majesty.