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Juan Trip' - Fireplace (2008) review


Juan Trip’ - Fireplace (Citizen Records, 2008)

If you’re an armchair traveler, or a real traveler for that matter, sitting there at a window seat, watching the world pass you by, or perhaps you’re passing the world by … then Juan Trip’ is the perfect traveling companion, as his music is more a series of projects, or soundtracks to a film that was never made, laced with visionary impressions that are here, and then just as quickly gone. His music hangs onto your window like frost as you pass through the chilled mountains, and floats like heatwaves as you roll on through the desert, while adding a new dimension as the setting sun blossoms across the sky, colouring the clouds with shades of pink, orange, yellow, and deep purple.

Juan’s music quickly brought to mind Brian Eno’s sensational outing Here Come The Warm Jets, though polished and brightened for the twenty-first century … yet with Trip’, one seems to endlessly wait on songs with vocals, something to break the hypnotic soundscape that he weaves in and out of your mind. There’s nothing inaccessible to be found here, even when he ventures into the domino of smoothly flowing techno and house sounds … though I for one would enjoy a firmer concept to guide me through the enlightenment he professes to be bestowing on us.


There’s nothing adventurous here either, just a background dreamscape to occupy your mind while waiting on something else to happen, and all and all, that’s not a bad thing, much better than the disingenuous tape loops we’re subjected to as we ride the elevator or linger in a lounge. I believe that what Juan’s actual goal is, is to allow us to create a space in which to communicate with ourselves, either consciously or by a series of random thoughts drawn from the deepest recesses of half forgotten memories. Make no mistake about it, this album is designed to ride low in the background, effortlessly moving you forward.

In short, Fireplace is all about kids and ballads, psychedelic folk music set to guitars and harmonicas that delicately hang by a thread.

*** I’m not going to review his other works, because they all relatively travel the same path, with some differences, though your hand will have to guide you to the outing that best suites your needs. I will say that he has a downloadable song entitled “The Rose,” a three and a half minute light-handed satisfying hypnotic visionary delight that will instantly resinate with you, a song that's laced with distant longing memories, images from another time and place, one that should not be missed, and would be a fine addition for any of his releases … sadly it’s not.
On the other hand, Mr. Trip’ describes the song by saying, “The Rose” is a story sung by a small bee that’s flying over a magic garden, where he and all of his other small bee friends sing this song to the strangest rose they have ever seen.

- Jenell Kesler
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