Windy Boijen – In a Sense

1.17.23 by Matty McPherson

Windy Boijen – In a Sense

Ephem-Aural, the New York, NY based label recently passed 40 releases. Congraturaisins! I sent all of ’em chip n’ dale birthday cakes straight from the SFV; hopefully the chap inside has enough oxygen and hamdingers to last through that layover in Kansas City. But anyways, many folks would tell you getting to 42 is important because that’s what life is all about; although anyone in the business knows a tape label’s life starts at 40, the release number that indicates a commitment to the spirit of ferric. Of course, I wager 40 + 1 is the real sweet spot. And what a stellar lil’ fella to show up with, bringing Windy Boijen into the fold with In a Sense as no. 41 for the imprint.

Boijen’s name won’t show up on discogs nor is he a name that many households would know. He fancies himself as a sometimes blogger, running a Boogie Banjo Blog on the rare occasion, with an upload about once every 18 months on a misbegotten banjo player or sonic excavation. Although the chap has also had a steady stream of recordings that date back to 2008; including a 2021 series of “Just Intonation exercises” accomplished for an ASU online course offered by Jacob Adler—a nifty act . Needless to say though, the gentleman’s bread and butter focuses around “Spontaneous Improvised Sound Experiments,” much of which is captured and documented in precocious capacity on In a Sense. Genres like “experimental, metal, avant-garde, drone, & noise” are thrown out like it’s a pick-one candy bar bag at Halloween and one of ’em has a razor or something hiding. Except there is no razorblade; none of those genres are really ever achieved on the release. In fact, the label’s term “goofball psychedelia” serving a greater credit to Boijen’s soundscapes.

In a Sense has a freewheeling quality to its 10 cuts that allow it to channel between sunskipping almost-instrumental indie pop (Waiting), jittery digital-damaged free improv drumming and xylophone noisery (Makes Sense/Mask Chakra), amongst the occasional 75 Dollar Bill/Wilkes n’ Gendel sonic dirge (Xalam for Yari, most of side b). It’s a stable template that allows for the occasional banjo to dip in or a track like “Y’all” to harken to late-00s freak folk or Deerhunter blog ditties. Yet, when all three of these elements combine, like on Kids Odd or That Claw Fin Thing Together, the tape is operating at its fullest big brain capacity. A sudden revelatory bliss is unlocked in those two tracks; the kind that ignite a groove-laden yet everyday-ness quality to Boijen’s recordings. It warrants the “goofball psychedelia” tag! Especially when traversing the tape’s b-side, the two become a framework to exactly what makes the tape’s smattering of tracks work. Boijen is often able to ride a small drone and improvisational drum pattern into something that is engrossing, and genuinely zoned-out on its own accord.

Limited Edition Cassette from the Ephem-Aural Bandcamp is Now Available.