Exposé Online banner

CJ Boyd — Aerial Roots
(Joyful Noise jnr41, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Aerial Roots Cover art

I previously encountered C.J. Boyd with his group Sexxxtet (reviewed last issue), and while this recording features him without the cellos, there are definitely some musical similarities. The primary instruments featured are basses, both electric and acoustic, though given some of the playing, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a guitar in there as well. For a bit more variety, he adds in some harmonica, melodica, and percussion as well as a bit of singing and whistling. These three long pieces feature looped bass parts, usually short motifs, stacked one upon another, to build pulsing structures well-suited to a kind of alert-meditative mood. The looping bass parts fit together in a way that reminds me a bit of Achim Reichel’s ground-breaking work (and you could even draw a connection to something later like Porcupine Tree’s Voyage 34), though the lack of a drum kit tones down the rock element significantly. It’s a testimony to Boyd’s skill and taste that he can pull off what might be considered 45 minutes of noodling around, making it worth sticking with, though there is likely some planning involved here (maybe subconscious, as not all musicians work entirely on an intellectual level).


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): C.J. Boyd

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alliance - Alliance – Alliance appears to be a group of musicians (while maybe not a band as such) working together in various combinations to produce the music on this disc, around the core of John Fahey (keyboards and...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues