from KZSU college radio, ca. 1995:

 

JHNO

Understand
$10 ppd, CD only
Delicate Ear
964 Natoma
San Francisco CA 94103

Please excuse the hyperbole, but this album is the new apex of technological means used for organic ends. This album is alive; it breathes, strains, gallops, reposes, and mutates in the most stealthy manner. One second, Burundians and Balinese are chanting rhythmically (with no dissonance between the two either) and the next second there’s the distinct funky drummer breakbeat and you, the listener, have no recollection of any discontinuity. The only plausible explanation is that this album stops time. The surface beauty and polish is manifest; the album is a joy to listen to. Yet it’s when you look (listen) under the hood that observing the masterful infrastructure of the album makes you really appreciate the seamless surface. What’s underneath is a variety of samples from the four corners of the earth, some lovely piano, a touch of frantic jungle, a dash of thrash, and an oscillating lawn sprinkler. Do listen for the sprinkler in the homestretch, but appreciate the entire trip getting there. This is one of my favorite albums of the not-so-new year. -Gabe