BAND OF THE WEEK: JJAAXXNN

22 Jun

Action JJAAXXNN is his name! Bold adventure is his game!

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Wait. Slow down – you move too fast. You’ve got to make the moment last, or so a wise man once advised us, which is advice we take to heart, especially in the emerging days of summer. For a perhaps even wiser man once asked the musical question, “Who loves the sun?” and when the surprising answer was revealed to be “not everyone,” we became awaked. Not everyone?!? That’s us! We’re all one, dude.

So when the summer sun asserts its dominance, we submit in the form of the worship of sound waves. Or something.

What we’re trying to say is that it’s really, really hot outside and “Space Case” – the debut cassette from JJAAXXNN, out now from Translinguistic Other – sounds absolutely amazing. “Summer time is here, kiddies,” the wisest man of them all (right?) once announced, “and it’s time to take a trip. Let’s take a trip!”

Listen: It should be clear at this point that we have no idea what we’re talking about. We don’t know anything about JJAAXXNN apart from his name, and we’re skeptical about whether or not bold adventure is really his game (if we had to put money on it, we’d say “high adventure” is closer to his field of play). Even when Translinguistic Other translates the secret symbols of JJAAXXNN to reveal the identity of “California drifter Joshua Bruner, formerly of San Francisco psych jammers Magic Leaves,” we’re no closer to the truth.

Nor do we know what to call his music. Four of the nine tracks on “Space Case” have the word “dub” attached to their titles, if that helps you out at all. There’s not a guitar in sight – in “Space Case,” no one can hear you riff.

This is what we do know: JJAAXXNN’s “Space Case” is our constant companion this summer, one that allows us to submit to the sun, to float alongside the clouds, and to enjoy sound waves that are as natural and powerful as the ocean waves. Regardless of the season, these songs compile to form an easy, enveloping grandeur, ass planted firmly on the earth, head exploding into an ever expanding universe, beats beaten by the heart. We heart this.

“Space Case” from JJAAXXNN is available on cassette from Translinguistic Other and as a digital download at JJAAXXNN’s Bandcamp page.

“Thoughts are like clouds and can vanish just as clouds naturally disperse into space. The expression, meaning thoughts, are like clouds, while rigpa, the awakened state, is like sunlit space. I use the metaphor of sunlit space to illustrate that space and awareness are indivisible. You do not accomplish or create the sunlit sky. We cannot push the clouds away, but we can allow the clouds of thought to gradually dissolve until finally all the clouds have vanished. Ultimate realization occurs when there is no trace of the cloud layers whatsoever.”

– “Rainbow Painting,” by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

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