It’s easy to qualify an album by saying it is this or that, that it gives such and such a feeling, normally, but Judah Johnson’s Be Where I Be, well… it makes it more complicated. Judah Johnson is simple enough. Their music is played on conventional instruments, like most music. The first track is made up of merely simple sounds, ambience, and it seems to follow in the start of the next track, but the guitar takes off into a still relatively simple riff, followed by a relatively simple drum rhythm, followed by a lot more relatively simple things, but like a messy room, there may be pretty simple things all over the room, creating something that can has no approachable way to clean everything up, to make sense of it all. Judah Johnson though, makes the mess gleam like the clean countertops in all of the Windex commercials.
Be Where I Be has a way of taking vocals that seem to follow a lot of the same content, the same track as a lot of other vocals on the scene, but complicate them, making them into something that resonates with the music, diving into the soundscape like a swimming pool, and the splash creates ripples that mold and create a different kind of white noise. Separately, the vocals and music would still make noise, but nothing nearly as significant as when they are together.
Overall, Be Where I Be, makes things a little more complex. Many of the songs start with subtle loops or “Little Sounds,” and from that tiny base are built things incredible, creating an awe inspiring, upside-down pyramid that stands on its own, and even tricks, or maybe plays, with its audience. It is an active engagement with the audience without calling out to them, never seeming desperate, but just doing what they do best, making good music that refuses to be analyzed, taking apart pyramids brick by brick.
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