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Album Review

Rosy Parlane's second solo effort on Touch doesn't have anything to do with the Portland space rock outfit that also used that name, but Jessamine, divided into three parts on the disc, does share a similar affinity for the exploratory, moody, and mysterious — no bad things in the right hands. Again recording everything by himself for the most part along with some contributions here and there — notably including no less than eight guitarists on the third and final part, whose contributions are used by Parlane in the overall mix — Parlane's constructions balance the evocative, wasted hush of any number of ambient doom mongers and the evanescent grace of those inclined to a warmer, enveloping feeling. These aren't unfamiliar fields by any means, but Parlane's gift lies in his ear for slowly unfolding arrangements — rather than simple loops or monotone constructions, the feeling is one of organic evolution, tones, cries, and drones interlocking and developing in slow progression. Certainly this is the feeling of the first part in its entirety, with Marcel Bear's guest shimsaw work sometimes cutting through the mix with a high-pitched scream, softened and slowed. In notable contrast is the second part, which is almost barely there — not minimalist but simply minimal, the subtlest of high tones starts to evolve into a full flowing interweaving of lighter but still vast sounding drones, ending on the calmest of notes. The third part, as noted, attracts attention for its personnel alone (participants include Michael Morley and David Mitchell), but deserves it most for its excellent valedictory feeling, wrapping up the disc almost as an extended coda of calm tone-float. The guitar feedback starts to grow and grow more audible a third of the way into the song, transforming the piece and thus the end of the album into a simultaneously serene and extremely violent conclusion — a balance of extremes that combines excellently.


Born: Auckland, New Zealand

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

After the experimental rock outfit Thela broke up in 1996, members Rosy Parlane and Dion Workman became Parmentier. That project lasted until 1998 when Parlane began investigating soundscapes, tape loops, and field recordings on his own. Three self-released 7"s appeared that year with the sequential titles #1, #2, and #3 before they were collected on the full-length #1-4, the first release from the Sigma Editions label. A move from his native New Zealand to London in 2000 coincided with the release...
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Jessamine, Rosy Parlane
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