“777” is a very subtle mini-cdr from the Hymns label, quite unlike the more immediate gratification served up in label owner Andrew Chadwick’s gloriously jarring tape collages. Truthfully, I’m not seeing the connection, but here it is– and the element of surprise is one of the nice things about small labels, isn’t it?
Anyhow, Jijimuge turns in a fairly low-key set of three tracks over the course of 20-ish minutes. The more I listen, the more I believe these to be variations on a theme. Each open with a rolling sort of noise which develops enough eccentricity through its ‘orbit’ to gradually reveal another dominant tone. Only once, halfway through the disc, is there any real break– but it does come quite literally, sounding like a snapping twig.
There is quite a lot to be said for the delicate structural work of this disc. The second track, “77” contains numerous small elements; ringing tones, thin static layers, and miniature scrapings that define the overall structure in a similar way that smoke can ‘give form’ to a beam of light. The title track goes a bit further, with more sounds intruding on the drone. Most apparent to my ears is something not unlike the tines of a comb being dragged across the edge of some hard surface.
Overall, “777” has fine production, though nothing I would think of as particularly remarkable. It doesn’t seem to take many chances, often choosing to fade an interesting sound out before it can eclipse the drone in any way. Most irritating, though, is how each track is simply clipped off at the end. There seems to be no musical reasoning for this, and is quite possibly only influenced by Jijimuge’s desire to make every track the same length.
To sum up, “777” is definitely a stand-out from the dreck that lines the shores of Drone-land, and drowns many an unwary listener. On the other hand, it’s up to Jijimuge to build on this solid foundation; it is my guess that their future efforts will be worth close inspection. If anyone has a copy of Jijimuge’s other release, “Ghostflange,” a comparison would be fantastic– let me know if you’ve heard this disc, or where a copy can be obtained.