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- Shiggajon

CD-R / 60 copies / Duration: 30 mins
ARK004 Release date: 03.25.10



Comes in a hand painted, DVD-sized cardboard case with paste-on art including five hand cut, pro-printed photo cards and a text inlay printed on recycled paper.

Danish improv collective Shiggajon rises more bright and clear than ever and reveals the first deep red sunbeams of a new beginning with a blast of euphoric ethnopsych and hypnotic fields of drone music. This album lets you feel the strength of the wind and the magnetism of the roaring waves in the wide lonesome ocean. All you have to do is fall in.


"På det danske ensemble Shiggajons hjemmeside proklameres: ”Shiggajon is not free jazz”. Sikkert foranlediget af, at nogen eller nogle på et tidspunkt har klistret dette mærkat på gruppen. Som man da også let kan blive forfalden til, når man ser ensemblet stå på en scene, 10-15 mand høj med bl.a. saxofon, klarinet, violin og alverdens slagtøj. Samtidig er deres lyd præget af spirituel musikalsk søgen og improvisation, som ofte er forbundet med free jazzen. Men som dokumenteret af Shiggajon, ensemblets cd fra i år udgivet i kun 60 eksemplarer på pladeselskabet Ark Tarp, er de en svært definerbar størrelse. Gruppens musik hviler fuldstændig i sig selv, i en ritualistisk ro frembragt bl.a. af alverdens slagtøj og perkussion, også af den mere esoterisk slags. Som hørt på det andet af cd’ens to numre, det 21-minutter lange ”II”, hvor klarinet og sax langsomt får overtaget, mens rytmikken bliver noget langsommere og tung. På det første nummer, ”I”, bliver en gennemtrængende men dog dragende støj mødt med en stigende rytmisk intensitet. Shiggajon bygger noget op. Også inde i lytteren."
- Geiger 2011 (taken from the article "Albums of the year 2010")

"Shiggajon is a collective of Danish free music chefs, who ladle out for us another appetizing helping from their menu. Having tasted the former courses of their earlier concoctions, my appetite was whetted with anticipation for another satisfying bite. And as it is in the restaurant business where presentation is everything, so it is with Ark Tarp’s fine package. Look up a picture to see just how cool their DIY presentations are. The food should never taste worse than it looks, but it should look as good as it tastes. Shiggajon’s release not only looked sweet, but went down the gullet of my ears just as smoothly, unlocking flavors in the palate of my mind.

This is a fine drone album. Outstanding aura of sound. Medium guitar entrancements that feel like they have as many layers as a piece of baklava. They’re not quite soaring, lifting you up with them, but are more grounded. They surround more than elevate. But the best thing is what Shiggajon adds to this simple recipe on these two tracks. The first one throws in a dash of out-jazz and a pinch of clashing drummery. It grows into quite the delicious snack that helps to ameliorate the hunger but still leaves you wanting more. Then the second track gives you the main dish in over 21 minutes, which is almost 2/3 more than the first course. The drone is less dense, but that is made up by the more sporadically timed bells and clatter. However, by the ninth minute it aspires to be something else. The guitar (at least that’s what instrument I think it is) begins to pine in solo. The drone is more individualized and goes its own way. Then a sax follows suit and joins in. It’s interesting how the drone can break into two totally different sounds and work together. Then all the well-served entrees fall from the table and spill over the floor. Blotches of cymbals, winded squeaks, and guitar whines paint the carpet of your soul. A mess is made. Dinner is over. It’s time to leave.

Though this one ended much different than it began and promised to continue, as it literally went out with a bang. Looking back now, it seems to have been an appropriate ending. Everything was very good even though I felt like I wasn’t able to finish my meal and ended up wearing some of it. It only keeps me wanting more though. That’s not necessarily the best way to leave a hungry diner, but that’s the way you want to leave a listener. 8/10"

- Foxy Digitalis 2010