Exposé Online banner

Rena Jones — Driftwood
(Native State NSCD004, 2006, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2007-03-01

Driftwood Cover art

I suppose any instrument could lend itself to electronic music given the right attitude, but there’s something about bowed strings that makes for a particularly nice pairing. Rena Jones handles this intersection especially well, as she is accomplished on both violin and cello as well as being an experienced sound engineer. Not that a lot of virtuosity on the strings is called for in this music, as the intent is much more towards meditation than showing off. The star attraction here is the texture of the music, with deeply echoing synthesizers, subtle grooves, and lots of space. Only rarely does it approach the state of ambience – there’s almost always a bit of kinetic energy pulsing along. I’m no expert in this particular little neighborhood of electronic music, but the way the rhythms are constructed reminds me a bit of some of William Orbit’s work. I suppose the title of the album is supposed to evoke nature and the ocean, but to me the music belongs in outer space, like a blessed-out version of atmospheric space rock. And while it shares features with standard electronic fare and New Age sap, those aspects are taken someplace interesting, full of imagination and craft.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Rena Jones

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Love Spirals Downwards - Flux – Featured at last year's Projekt Fest in Chicago, the fifth release for this duo also happens to be this writer's introduction to them. Their music could be characterized as ambient electronic pop with...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues