Cleveland-based multi-instrumentalist composer John Kolodij records music under the moniker High Aura'd. If I'm Walking in the Dark, I'm Whispering, his first release with Unifactor, follows acclaimed albums on labels like Bathetic, Debacle, and Type. Kolodij generates ambient fields of obscured effect pedal / electronic provenance, laying out interminable layers of smeared guitar drone and muffled instrumental voices that evoke pipe organs, orchestras, drums, and harmoniums all heard from the end of a deep chasm. His guitar takes follow a naturally unfolding, loose grid of juxtaposed harmonies and moods, swelling from gentle pastoral atmospheres to gnarled, heavy licks and momentarily recursive riffs that approach pitch blackness. High Aura'd carefully considers the fluctuating trajectories of his pieces, allowing "background" elements to seize control of the mix from time to time before turning the spotlight back to hands-on-fretboard moments or the plaintive voice of the piano. He seeks out a middle ground between the heavily signified emotional weight of the rock and folk traditions and a state of abstracted stasis far from the influence of humankind, all glimpsed through the lens of the free-floating raga form that bridges Indian classical music with the spiraling improvisations of the American Primitive guitar tradition. If Kolodij's work continues the conversation between these styles on a formal level, the frank passion of his performances in the moment and the clear narrative arcs that he presents seize listeners and sketch out half-trodden paths before them that wind out into the darkness.
Artwork by Nick Spolarich
released October 31, 2018
Recorded in 2018
Mastered by Sean McCann
Eternal thanks to Cat/Jayson/Josh
supported by 15 fans who also own “If I'm Walking in the Dark, I'm Whispering”
It fills me with some kind of intangible, powerful, regressive emotion from the very first note to the very last. I was deeply moved by this record...it's a real treasure. Feels like being back home, in a way that's above being good or bad. thank you for this work Collin Loveall
supported by 13 fans who also own “If I'm Walking in the Dark, I'm Whispering”
Contemporary, yet steeped in an understanding and love of the genre, Kirchner's compositions are first rate, the covers judiciously selected, and the playing throughout is absolutely first rate. Hard to pick anyone out, but the bass clarinet is just sublime.
Stellar performances and terrific compositions. This is seriously good jazz, deeply spiritual in many ways, but with a confident, energised spring in its step.
Sure to be one of the standout jazz releases of 2018. Michael Mueller