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Jason Blake

The Compromise Rationale

Review by Gary Hill

Jason Blake is really building up quite an admirable catalog of solo music. Blake is a Warr guitarist hailing from my regional backyard, in his case, Chicago. He's part of the band Aziola Cry, but in recent times he's been releasing these solo instrumental albums. They are all intriguing and compelling. This set is no exception. It's often cinematic and soundtrack-like. While this sort of music isn't the easiest to differentiate in track by track reviews, each song has its own identity. Blake has definitely shown that he still has plenty of interesting music to create.

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Track by Track Review
A Certain Balance
Ambient elements get us underway here. This remains rather mellow, but builds upward with a sense of menace in place. It grows in sedate ways and really has some intriguing vibes on display.
Euphoria with Repercussions
While also starting mellow and understated, this builds to a more insistent vibe as it continues further down the road. I really love the mellower section mid-track and how it rises up from there with a dramatic and driving concept that still manages to remain restrained.
Deforming Reality
While this is also mellow, it has some real drama. It has a flowing sort of trippiness to it along with a lot of style and charm.
Practical Methods of Gratification
This gets into some seriously dense and rich territory. At times it makes me think of something Larry Fast might do under the "Synergy" name. It also has mellower sections to contrast the more driving ones.
The Compromise Rationale
With a sense of both beauty and foreboding on board, this isn't a big change, but it is unique. After the halfway mark the cut gets into some driving territory.   
Secondary Influences
Again, this doesn't reinvent the wheel in terms of the general concepts, however, it has some almost symphonic vibes. It's spacey and trippy and so cool.
A Moral Impasse
Intricate and beautiful, this has much the same musical concept as the rest, but also its own flavors. It's one of the most effective things here, making it a great choice to end the album.
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