Still working to capture some more of the excellent offerings that sit atop my review pile before 2022 slides off into the rising oceans. One of the more tireless travelers in the Raven circle is Matt LaJoie, and over the past few years his solo recordings have taken on a rich beauty that’s been split between several appointed monikers, each with their own instrumental focus. Under his own name, though, he’s often let the guitar lead the way, doling out fingerpicked cycles that have been rooted in our natural world. For his latest, Crop Circle, he bridges those song cycles with some of his more kosmiche works. The album begins lacing Matt’s chiming runs of guitar, a familiar feature of albums like Everlasting Spring and Red Resonant Earth, with the cosmic scope of his work on last year’s Star Maps tape.
The album snuck out on Eye Vybe records, always a haven for experimental goodness, and under this guise Lajoie used his solo setup to work out five reverberating pieces that brought to mind Achim Reichel’s works as A.R. & Machines or some of Manuel Göttsching’s more caramelized cuts. Crop Circle tethers the Earth to the heavens, as perhaps the name might suggest. The songs are still imbued with LaJoie’s loping sense of landscape but, layered with synth washes and nebulous drones, they yearn to lift off into the ether at every turn. Flower Room continues to be an essential wellspring of some of the best Northeast shimmer. Check back early and check back often.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.