Michigan trumpeter, Justin Walter shares the title track from his incoming new album, Unseen Forces, which is out now via kranky. Justin Walter’s solo work centres on evocative, intuitive explorations of the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), a rare wind-controlled analog synthesizer from the 1970’s. Its unique, smeared tonality allows for an expressive range of glassy, jazz-like textures, which Walter loops and layers with hushed electronics and twilit trumpet, painting opaque landscapes of resonant beauty.
LISTEN TO THE TITLE TRACK “UNSEEN FORCES”
Walter’s 2013 debut, Lullabies & Nightmares, included a handful of collaborations with percussionist Quin Kirchner but Unseen Forces finds him fully solo, refining the project to its essence: shape-shifting watercolours of pastel haze, lit by the soft synthetic glow of electric breath. It’s a sound both modern and timeless, fusing emotion and technology, gauze and melody, force and fragility.
“Unseen Forces is a collection of recordings that document the use of improvisation as a means to create sounds that can either function on their own or serve as the foundation of, or source material for, additional improvisation. There was a definite process used to create this music but at no point was any music ever written or composed. When putting this music together I was often aware of feelings related to density, spacing, silence, and the sense of time pulling back on itself, like trying to stretch a scene and pull on it in ways that distort it ever so slightly. This is a record of melodies, alone and in complex relation. This music is a reflection of both feeling, and thought, as much construction as composition. The recordings of the EVI, as well as the sequencing done using samples of those recordings, are mostly the result of exploring melody through intuition. Harmonically simple, but with a complex pallet of texture.” – Justin Walter
“I could go on and on about the insane virtuosity, about the rare analog wind synth that almost no one in the world plays anymore, about the most unique intervallic melodies and harmonies, but it’s all secondary to the simple beauty that Justin Walter is able to conjure up with his solo music.” – COLIN STETSON
“Opening slowly onto a melancholy loop, the track stands out beautifully as one of the album’s most distinctive horn meditations. Built from improvisations using an EVI — or electronic valve instrument, essentially a synth for trumpet players — Unseen Forces adds up to a wonderful, jazzy-sort of kosmische “shmear,” complex but calming, and spacious enough for more or less whatever you’d like to do with it.” – DECODER
“A sense of wide-eyed wonder permeates the record, a lucid, continually surprising take on melodic instrumental music and a complex balancing act between instinct and experimentation.” – TANK MAGAZINE
“A soul-stirring sonic brew of contrasts.” – IGLOO