Jacob Levesque – Panic (The Dark Thursday)

Jacob Levesque’s new album, Panic – released on his own The Dark Thursday label – was made with “absurdity, anxiety, and passion” in mind, and it recreates the titular feeling with ease. While Jacob is the main artist, a long list of contributors are present throughout the 10 tracks, utilizing standard instrumentation as well as saxophone, xaphoon, bike bell, Irish tin whistle, Jacob’s Ladder, electronics, coins, and paper.

Very much in the same vein as the early Mothers of Invention or even Faust, ‘Panic’ attacks you with free improvisation jams, constantly glitching or changing without warning. Musique concrète, sound collage, plunderphonics, field recordings, and studio chatter – often panned hard left or right – disorient the listener, making the feeling of anxiety very real.

In one piece snippets of dialogue are repeated, mimicking  the broken record mentality, whilst the other speaker has a piece of music completely unrelated playing. Halfway through you start to feel as if you are in fever dream with a broken radio wildly changing stations and a construction crew outside your window. Near the end the music settles, almost exhausted, as a field recording allows a minute and-a-half of reflection.

The final track slowly begins again as multiple bits of dialogue and percussion build the tension once more. This not background music – Jacob is demanding your attention and taking you through the chaos of an audio panic attack. Whilst his label runs the gamut of experimental and noise I hope this nod to early 70s studio wizardry isn’t a one shot deal.

– Jeff Brown

Listen/purchase at: https://thedarkthursday.bandcamp.com/album/panic

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