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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trygve Seim - Sangam – If there was ever a time for a new jazz icon, composer and saxophonist Trygve Seim surely fits that bill. His ensemble's well received performance at the 2007 Portland Jazz Festival was a jaw-dropper,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues