ALEX CRISPIN & NICHOLAS WHITTAKER
Irian Jaya (Cobblers Records)
I’m still enthralled with the hand-tooled 21st century new age of Alex Crispin’s album Idle Worship (2017), a shimmering, glowing, wondrous thing. So it’s a joy to find the British multi-instrumentalist scaling similar heights on Irian Jaya. This time he hooks up with longtime friend Nicholas Whittaker who features on saxophone and various exotic percussion. It’s got that tropical South-East Asian feel to it as per the album’s title, but it’s a special kind of exotica, deftly merging Asian folk and free jazz elements with panoramic drones and ethereal new age synths.