You can make a conscious left turn for any number of reasons, perhaps as it’s not possible to go forward in the current direction of travel, or maybe because a sharp 90 degree change of path has become necessary. And in a time of change Vibrations of the Sun has been described as just such a departure for guitarist/producer Christopher Cordoba and Paul Frederick, the duo who normally record as Jack Adaptor.
Frederick was once part of The Family Cat, whose avant-indie rock won them a major deal in the mid 90’s before the Britpop scene they were never really part of fizzled out, taking them with it. The pair’s latest incarnation however is a world away from efforts both recent and in the distant past, assembled without them ever meeting and resonant of a pandemic time that for most of us often had a surreal quality.
To fit this societal short circuit the music which they’ve produced is amorphous, fragile and sometimes bleak. Opener Web of Wire’s ghostly harmonies and skronking sax belong to an Under The Sea dance where the mirage of normality deceives; the man who foxtrots there blindly says “I take the pills every day”, whilst the hazy synths of Two Room Scene mirror the helpless stasis of lockdowns, both physical and psychological.
This process of adaption and it’s bulwark against doubt lurks in many corners. On the gently rolling Hypnotist the quest is ‘First thing in the day/It’s easier to stay/Keep out of the way/I’m learning how to hypnotise myself’ whilst The Quiet Fanfare’s epic six and a half minutes drag with it beatless echoes of Talk Talk’s esoteric post rock.
These are songs on which Cordoba and Frederick evidently felt no sense of being reigned in, shifting through dream pop, ambient psychedelia and other hazy experiments, Finally on Grace of God they approach the iceberg of mortality viewed through the window of another’s beliefs; “I don’t believe in God and when I die” says Frederick to this mystery third party, then “I will not be rising into your future sky.”
Taking a left turn can result in getting lost, or even crashing. Vibrations of the Sun is a record with no fear of either.
Vibrations of the Sun is available now to stream and purchase on bandcamp here.