Busride Interview

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“Released as part of Lucky Kitchen’s Sparkling Composers Series, Joshua Abrams’ Busride Interview fits perfectly with the aesthetic established by earlier releases from A.F.R.I. Studios, Aerospace Soundwise, and label owners Alejandra & Aeron. At the crossroads of laptop electronica, sound collage, and sound art, Abrams’ short tracks (eight for a total duration of 35 minutes) unfold like a dream wide awake: ethereal and highly suggestive. When combining sound sources (acoustic instruments, field recordings, elements like water and fire), as in “After Fire,” he is lulling, wrapping the listener in a delicate sonic environment. His music loses its personality and interest when he chooses to make sampler manipulation obvious, like the clumsy CD skipping in “Trip North” and parts of “Everything Can Be Good Sometimes.” Central to the album is the 11-minute cello solo, “Departure (Cellar).” Mostly unaltered (there may be some added reverb or an overdub here and there), the acoustic nature of the piece is striking amidst the otherwise cinematic music. Sober and delicate, with an amateurish feel that makes it even more pleasurable in this context (it wouldn’t be the case on a free improv record), “Departure (Cellar)” adds an extra dimension to the album. “Attic” is also based on the cello, but instead it focuses on overtones and bow textures, overdubbing Abrams’ playing to an extent where it sounds like one of Koji Asano’s drones. Adepts of Alejandra & Aeron’s music and productions have come to expect albums that juxtapose strange things and offer unusual listening experiences. Busride Interview hits the spot.”