Few sonic cosmonauts have explored the outer sonic regions while staying firmly connected to the forces of the earth, then one Matt Lajoie. Piloting the good ship Herbcraft for over a decade, an east coast experimental/psychedelic-rockist ensemble with a revolving cast, Lajoie still finds time to channel cosmic roots frequencies with his partner Ash Brooks as both Starbirthed and Ash and Herb. Matt has also prolifically maintained solo musical flights, and his latest, Star Maps, was born out of a regular quarantine ceremony. Lajoie explains: "The collected tracks stem from three different recording sessions in the fall of 2020 and winter 2021, all improvised in our home basement studio as part of my “Colander” weekly recording ritual--every Monday morning to start my week, I improvise on a single instrument, usually running through a looping pedal for 40-60 minutes. All tracks are solo, one-take improvisations with no overdubs or extraneous production, aside from minor edits. Tying all the pieces together is that they were all performed on my late-90s Japanese Fender Mustang in standard tuning (somewhat rare for me) and that they all traveled a distinctly kosmische path."
These guitar experiments do indeed conjure the spacier end of krauty sounds, from Ash Ra's Manuel Gottsching to Achim Reichel of AR and Machines, to more obscure Europeans like Daniel Malempré of M.A.L. or Richard Pinhas of Heldon. Lajoie admits one teutonic guitar god was of paramount importance, though in an abstract manner: "I had somehow missed out on hearing all of Michael Rother’s solo discography (of Neu!), and I recall that was an inspiration for that initial Star Maps session. Not what those LPs actually sounded like, but rather what I imagined those solo records sounding like based on his playing on Neu and Harmonia records. No amps or microphones were used on the recording whatsoever, just guitar straight into the board (like Rother)." This hypothetical vision of Rother's work and beyond (residing in Lajoie's mind's eye and ears) still results in a unique fusion that is Matt's own, guided by shimmering and blissful loops, and dressed in Lajoie's adept and cosmos-seeking guitar strains. Lajoie's holy musical observances have now become our own, perfect for your next inner star-mapping journey, tarot reading session, or on the walkman as one scales a mountain of a literal of figurative manner. This limited cassette is pressed in an edition of 100 and is avaiable through the artist and Eye Vybe Records.
- Plastic Crimewave
released April 30, 2021
Performed, recorded, mixed and mastered by Matt LaJoie
Album artwork by Karissa Talanian