Published Oct 29, 2018Arriving just 17 months after her breakthrough solo debut, the second album from Jessica Moss is a vital distillation of concentrated communal energy.
Unlike the previous solo work Moss polished and recorded in the studio before it could know any other form, "Particles" was composed and then toured as a road routine; the document offered here is informed by experiments Moss tried with live audiences, letting sounds she sampled and deployed in real time wander around rooms until someone met her gaze.
A 22-minute epic in one shot, it opens with a sparse pointillist sequence, but a gliding violin theme grows out of these seeds, later reducing to a single note. As Moss's voice joins the drone of her instrument 13 minutes in, the vortex of her pedals sets both in motion, and the two become one. "Sounds of violence fill the sky, darkening clouds are passing by," Moss sings, but as words echo, stretch and layer over each other, it's never entirely clear, especially as new phrases present themselves in the swirl. At one point, the word "dancing" is generated in the mix.
The second half, "Fractals (Truth)," is a four-part suite Moss designed around a melody she found herself returning to offstage. That muse melody didn't make it onto the record, but as each of the four pieces were informed by others Moss wrote around it, it's reflected and refracted throughout. So if you step back and take in the whole thing Magic Eye-style without ever having heard its source material, you can still register it on some deeper psychic level.
There's a tense, disorienting quality to this turbulence, but Entanglement reaches out and rewards close listening with beauty that sticks with you. (Constellation)