Jason van Wyk

Opacity by Jason van Wyk by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Aubrey Woodward

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Jason van Wyk’s Opacity is a strong follow-up to his previously re-released album Attachment. Like Attachment, Opacity is a post-classical album with a focus on ambient noise. Unlike his previous album, however, it is a much gentler body of work. The focus on minimalism is more apparent within it, with each track generating an influx of emotion that keeps the listener on edge.

Opening with ‘Shimmer’, the listener is drawn into a false sense of security while the intensity builds up; like boiling water, the climax approaches slowly and then all at once. It sets a solid precedent for the rest of the album. A stand out track is ‘Until Then’, which provides an odd juxtaposition between the upbeat and the melancholy. The minimalist technique stands out here, as the track is fully supported by a small, cheerful melody with an underlying haunting ambience. The evocative composition is simple without sacrificing its emotive side.

‘Weightless’, the ninth track, employs more ambient work than the other tracks. Starting slow, it begins to build up, heightening the emotional aspect of the experience and echoing a heartbeat. The intensity of this one track brings the mood of the entire album up, propelling it forward to the end.

Overall Opacity is a cohesive, enthralling body of work that connects with the listener, guiding them in and pulling them along until the very end.


Attachment by Jason van Wyk by Sergio Díaz De Rojas

By Aubrey Woodward

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Set to release on September 15, 2017, Jason van Wyk’s ‘Attachment’ is a post-classical masterpiece. Described as maximal minimal music, it sets the stage by opening with ‘Kept’, a track that doesn’t leave you wanting – instead it creates a mood for the rest of the songs. It is quiet but hopeful, drawing the listener in and capturing their attention with a slow intensity that intensifies continuously through the rest of the album.

The climax is reached with ‘Stay’, the second longest track showcased directly in the middle of the album and the auditory example of the term ‘slow build’. Beginning with an intense ambient rumble, it drops right into a very natural composition before being reduced back to a rumble and building up again. It keeps the listener on their toes which is something that could be said for the rest of the album as well but is especially prevalent within this track.

The ambient nature of ‘Attachment’ makes it very relaxing to listen to but this isn’t to say it is boring. The simplicity of it draws the listener in and gives them the option to interpret the tracks themselves. The composer’s intentions and the listener’s intention are somehow both intricately intertwined and entirely separate. They are on a parallel journey.

‘Stay’, ‘Found’ and ‘Outset’ are standout tracks. The flow of the album would not be the same without them, moving it along almost like a wave. It waxes and wanes, a continuous juxtaposition between anticipation and quiet.

Wyk’s album can be found on Home Normal’s bandcamp. It ‘was originally released in March 2016 in a 130 CD(r) limited edition on Eilean Records. This edition has been completely remastered to focus on the original recordings, and to accompany Jason Van Wyk's follow-up 'Opacity'.’