Matt Borghi & Michael Teager: Awaken the Electric Air

borghi_awakenLet’s get the caveat out of the way up front: there was no way I was not going to love this album. Convocation, Borghi and Teager’s debut collaboration, blew me away. Their “jambient” style, blending processed guitar and jazz sax, is deep and soulful and gorgeous and pretty damn near perfect. So what more would I be able to say about Awaken the Electric Air, the live recording of the duo’s set on the Star’s End radio show following a concert at legendary ambient venue The Gatherings? Taking flight for an hour starting at four in the morning, Borghi and Teager lay down smooth, largely improvised tracks that use the tones and direction of the Convocation pieces as a stepping-off point. As Borghi explained to me via e-mail, “the tunes from Convocation that we did were only allusions to the originals, mostly because we just caught a vibe from the outset and stayed with it.” This puts the listener smack in the warm, drifting center of the jambient experience, where the chemistry between these two artists is heightened. Borghi’s ambient washes are ever so deep, quiet eddies of sound in constant motion, and Teager’s sax and flute find perfect expressions to complement them, whether it’s the rapid trills and fiery runs of jazz or long, breathy chords that twist their way through the air. Teager’s a truly expressive player, and his lines will work their way into your soul. Here’s what I suggest: get ahold of both Convocation and Awaken the Electric Air,  burn them both into one playlist, put on some headphones, hit “play” and just allow yourself to quietly dissipate into a cloud of unfiltered bliss. This sequel to what I considered one of last year’s best releases just amplifies how very good Borghi and Teager are. This is a must-listen.

Available through various outlets; see the artists’ web site for info.

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