Matt LaJoie continues to conjure the very spirit of nature itself through his cosmic guitar wizardry on the excellent Red Resonant Earth.
Released on vinyl, cassette and CD through Flower Room Records, the private label LaJoie and his partner Ash Brooks manage, Red Resonant Earth features the Maine-dwelling musician improvising grand soundscapes on an electric 12-stringed guitar through a delay/looper pedal.
The tracks on this album feature nothing but LaJoie’s bright guitar lines, all overdubbed and layered on top of each other, rippling and blending together into an array of unusual tones and hues. On songs like “Forest Sanctuary,” the 12-string mimics the movement of tree branches swaying in the breeze and the patterns of dancing sunlight that peek around the leaves. The sound of the guitar, which at times is similar to an electric oud, is always as pleasant and golden as dawn’s first light and as sweet as an ocean breeze.
Elsewhere on the album, like the title track, LaJoie even creates high-pitched percussive twinkling sounds with his instrument, which produces a dazzling sensation. It easily brings to mind images of things like bright lunar reflections shimmering across the choppy surface of a nocturnal sea or a night sky full of streaking meteors.
Throughout the album, LaJoie’s guitar playing is always meditative and relaxed, as though he is actively experiencing the natural scenes that he’s projecting through his improvisations in real time. You get the sense that wandering down his fret board like this is his way of reaching a deep, internal peace. Like this is the best way he can access his happy place. With this in mind, listening to the album actually feels like LaJoie is welcoming the listener into this personal happy place with open arms. Won’t you follow him down?
Fans of Popol Vuh, Jerry Garcia and Michael Rother need this record (and all of LaJoie’s records, for that matter). Click here to order yours today.