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by Joseph Shabason

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Paul Cooke
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Paul Cooke Utterly beautiful album. Introspective music that is a joy to get into, like ascending to another place. Favorite track: Looking Forward to Something, Dude.
CleanGreenShirt thumbnail
CleanGreenShirt There are some absolute beautiful touches on this record from the deconstructed sax motifs, thoughtful use of found sound, and of course gorgeous implementation of reverb. I'm particularly keen on Aytche's avant jazz leanings especially the noir vibe of "Long Swim". The abrasive tracks "Smokestack" & "Belching Smoke", at first seem out of place, however given the subject matter behind the album make sense in retrospect. Life can be utterly beautiful, heartbreakingly sad, and at times scary.
marek c
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marek c Meditative synths, subtle field recordings, and extended techniques bring reflective and imaginative moods. Refreshing and beautiful experimental jazz/ambient from Toronto! <3
Michael Feihstel
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Michael Feihstel An interesting, experimental and yet approachable take on Jazz that walks a fine line between abstract, noisy ideas and calm, accessable tones.
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    Compact disc in full-color gatefold wallet with artwork by Andre Ethier and design by Jared Bell.

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Aytche 03:48
Smokestack 04:12
Tite Cycle 05:20
Long Swim 04:54
Westmeath 04:56


Saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason's debut Aytche builds a bridge off of the precipice his forbears established, skirting jazz, ambient, and even new age with the same deliberate genre-ambiguity that made their work so interesting.

Aytche is a document of exploration both inward and outward. Every step taken in sound-design mirrors a stride in emotionality, as Shabason employs a variety of effect pedals to coax rich moody textures from his instrument. He explains, "I feel like robbing the sax of the ability to shred by effecting it and turning it into a dense chordal instrument really helps the instrument become something that it's not usually known for." Aytche deals with themes of degenerative illness and assisted suicide with eloquence that instrumental music rarely achieves regarding any subject, much less such difficult ones.

Album highlight "Westmeath" approaches Aytche's subject of inspiration head-on. Here, the album's only verbalization appears in the form of an interview with a man discussing his father's trauma and eventual suicide after surviving the holocaust. Though we only hear a few obscured words and phrases from the interview, the impact is powerful. For Shabason, whose grandparents survived the holocaust, this selection is anything but frivolous.


released August 25, 2017

Tenor Saxophone, Alto Flute, Juno 60, Prophet 12, MS20, Samples:
Joseph Shabason

Bram Gielen

Drums, Percussion:
Phil Melanson

Trumpet on “Ayche”:
J.P. Carter

Trumpet on “Chopping Wood”:
Nicole Rampersaud

Guitar on “Smokestack” and “Belching Smoke”:
Nic Bragg

Roger Leavens

Joe Lambert

Package Design:
Jared Bell

Andre Ethier


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Joseph Shabason Toronto, Ontario

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