J Fernandez Many Levels of Laughter
(Joyful Noise Recordings – June 9, 2015)
Review by Rob Leonard
Whispering sounds of an overworked air conditioner fills the space that’s usually accounted for by useless dominant chatter. It’s valuable to note that friends could as easily be seen and not heard, where the lack of spoken communication represents an intangible beauty expressed solely by presence – fluid, sometimes abstract, body language. Revisiting this imagery only constitutes Fernandez’s declaration, “Communication doesn’t matter/Communication is a waste of time,” an important thing to understand is that the subject isn’t strictly spoken communication, he means ALL of it – Many Levels of Laughter isn’t as much a critique of human communication as it is a highlighting of it’s inefficiencies because of varied experiences and understood levels of connection.
As a whole, Many Levels takes on unapologetic confession of an introvert confining themselves to an apartment studio, trying to connect the endless tape that formulates a distinct blend of krautrock, psychedelic, and vegas lounge jazz – of course, you can throw The Doors in there somewhere. All in all communicating a sense of reflection and social misunderstanding without breaking the fringe of the doorstep.
The opening track “Beteween the Channels” solidifies the theme while tracks like “Markers” and “Read My Mind” carry it out. “Markers” is the second track on the album, carrying through as mostly instrumental with some non-syllabic humming – so much for communicating. “Read My Mind,” sets the precedent for inference based on “Patterns I have left behind” – the track is filled with a droney organ sound that provides a darker tone for which the brighter more enthusiastic guitar lays.
Forgetting to talk and learning how to get lost are lost art forms – conversations are often dull and half paid attention to – so why try? why give a damn?