DJ Olive feat. Honeychild Coleman :: THWIS (The Agriculture)

Coleman’s sweet, sweet voice is treated as a delicate instrument by Olive, fragments and shavings of it nestling alongside his soft, rootsy bass, dub keyboards and snakey synth.

Gregor Asch (aka DJ Olive) is one of this generation’s true big-city renaissance men: turntablist, producer and remixer (sometimes as “The Audio Janitor”); one of the central figures of the illbient moment as one-third of We ™; continuer and curator of its spirit and legacy (referred to in-house as “roof music”) with the foundation of The Agriculture label; collaborator on landmark hybrid jazz albums by Uri Caine; installation builder (including Whitney and Venice biennials); and molder of cumulous ambient soundscapes, particularly of note the trilogy Buoy, Sleep and Triage on Room 40).

Olive opens the acronymious THWIS by revisiting the latter with “Triage Redux,” setting the stage for a long, low-key float down Yellow Brick Road, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He introduces vocalist Honeychild Coleman with a light skank on “Your Home,” immediately putting her in a familiar context, at least for this reviewer, whose only previous encounter with the lady was on illbient-era colleague Badawi’s absolutely essential Bedouin Sound System.

Though she doesn’t sing a standard verse-chorus type song until the very end, Coleman’s sweet, sweet voice is treated as a delicate instrument by Olive, fragments and shavings of it nestling alongside his soft, rootsy bass, dub keyboards and snakey synth. Both beatworthy and braintickling, THWIS dovetails perfectly with Bodega, his most recent solo album. Olive writes that the record was a long time in the making, in quest of a coherence “that I feel expresses the essence and vibe I was after.” It was certainly worth the wait, because THWIS is another milepost in a twisty windy career path dotted with them.

THWIS is available on The Agriculture.

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