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Jam Money — Blowing Stones

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Blowing Stones is about exploring sounds. Similar to that stone in England Mat Fowler and Steve Cormack may or may not be referring to, it’s a fixed exploration. For each track the two saddle themselves on a sliding scale of odd-pop tones and react to one another’s simple phrases, typically three-note trills, like characters speaking. You can imagine the two, given a mean set of actual stones, writing spirited ditties all day.

The general tone is uplifting, a little awestruck but ultimately thoughtful and playful. The tracks flow at a meandering pace. Although most of the tracks are built around simple acoustic or electric guitar and drum kit, the instrumentation comes across as fairly dense. There’s clarinet, synths, bumbling bass, electronic buzzes and hums; I think I even heard a glockenspiel and a guiro. And every sound is sewn together with the strange but undoubted relatedness of, say, cousins. In the whole there is forged a kinship that makes you realize that distance and influence can make blood seem foreign.

Being a sort of fixed exploration, Blowing Stones at times can feel claustrophobic. But at its best, Blowing Stones can trick you. It can trick you into perceiving a set of shapes suddenly as a set of bodies all while showing you how this playful re-illustration is possible. It has that ability to take simple elements and make them complex or at least texturize them. See the album cover for a general idea of what I’m talking about. All in all, Jam Money are inviting you into their little space to treat stones as instruments because that’s the only way they know how to treat them.

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