Track: John Thayer explores percussive ambience and field recordings on the beautiful ‘Kites’

John Thayer, photographed by Lea Thomas

NEW YORK percussionist, audio engineer and all-round musical polymath John Thayer, fresh from two collaborative, cassette-only albums last year – Untangling The Ghost, on which he sparred with reeds player Stank Zenkov, and Mountain Rumors, in tandem with Craig Schenker – is not about to depart this grinding year of our lord 2021 without dropping a little ambient beauty into it, although he’s left it to the year’s end to do so; he’s an album, Supermundane, due mid-November on Moon Villain.

Nine tracks in all, Supermundane explores the full range of the percussive palette – and let’s not forget that percussion isn’t just drums, but includes the pinging delight of the vibraphone, which instrument has been employed by everyone from Bobby Hutcherson to Masayoshi Fujita to beautiful effect.

That ringing, percussive instrument is in full effect on “Kites”, the second single John’s dropping ahead of the album’ take a listen below.

John says: “I was on tour in Japan, playing a seaside town called Nishio. The promoter put us up in a funky old hotel perched on the cliffs above Mikawa Bay. I knew sunrise would be special so I got up early and was delighted to see hundreds of kites flying in the dawn sky.

“I made a handful of field recordings, experimented with audio to midi processing and arrived on the main melody, like most of my efforts, quite by accident.”

The beauty of serendipity at play: John likes to bring various disciplines into the arena in constructing his soundscapes, including post-processed percussive elements, field recordings, more rigidly sequenced electronica superstructures and the fluidity of the ‘Fourth World’ aesthetic, as conceived by Brian Eno and John Hassell.

Isn’t “Kites” immersive, harmonic, woven of fine sonic cloth? It is, it is. The album promises much.

John Thayer’s Supermundane will be released by Moon Villain digitally and on vinyl on November 19th and can be pre-ordered here.

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