The sun sets on a crowded street in southeast Los Angeles. Headlight streaks of countless automobiles tattoo their brightness onto the quickly darkening roads. A hornet’s nest of car horns ricochet off the surrounding towers, and swarm the ears of every living thing in nearby proximity. You walk towards a bridge on the edge of town, and stop once you’re beneath it. The audible chaos funnels into something more cohesive, more musical, more beautiful . . .
The saxophone is a mystical instrument, a musical tool whose capabilities are being discovered and expanded upon still to this day. Weirdly enough, the same can be said about the dense city of Los Angeles, a town that conceals itself to outsiders, only truly revealing its beauty to its devoted inhabitants. The two collide here. Petrol is the newest full-length from L.A. native producer/saxophone player Brian Allen Simon, AKA Anenon.
With raw material captured from an improvised session with violinist Yvette Holzwarth and bass clarinetist Max Kaplan, Simon wraps the listener in cascading waves of strings, reeds, and techno rhythms. The producer took the trio’s impromptu performance and contorted the elements into its final form: a collection of emotion-filled, gorgeously ambient, jazzy electronic compositions that radiate brightly and evolve with grace.
Equal parts Coltrane and Vangelis’ Blade Runner, Petrol is of a rare species. Clearly distinguished by the record title and the sounds of vehicle congestion that bookend the record, these songs aim to illustrate an unturned stone of Los Angeles culture: the duality of loneliness and community found in the light-streaked, sunburned streets of the overflowing city. If you’re seeking jazzy, ambient techno, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)