Over the last decade, we’ve come accustomed to Jason Letkiewicz releasing material under a dizzying array of aliases, each utilized to explore a different side of his multi-faceted musical persona. Now, some 14 years after he made his recording debut alongside Ari Goldman as Manhunter, Letkiewicz has joined forces with Into The Light Records to release his first album under his real name.
The Reflecting Pool sees Letkiewicz exploring the uncomplicated and uncluttered in the pursuit of pure aural beauty. While his recent album as Opposing Currents was dense, dark, urban and industrial, The Reflecting Pool is stripped back, quiet and melodious. The contrast between the two projects is marked, with The Reflecting Pool drawing more on Letkiewicz’s love of crystalline ambient, slow burn synthesizer soundscapes, early ’80s library music and the kind of obscure electronic new age music that has been a hallmark of Into The Light’s releases to date.
The set’s 12 tracks gently ebb and flow, with Letkiewicz making great use of dusty old drum machines, effects units and a range of vintage analogue and digital synthesizers. It’s a set-up that results in a range of complimentary mood pieces and interludes, from the delay-laden military drums and lilting lead lines of “Out of Body Experiences”, to the drowsy, sunrise bliss of “Sunspot”, the bubbling Tangerine Dream style shuffle of “Mind Awake Body Asleep” and the outer-space atmosphere of “The Kill Fee”.
Throughout, Letkiewicz showcases his seemingly intrinsic grasp of mood, atmosphere and melody. It can be heard within the glacial guitar motifs, occasional beats and elongated chords of “The Reflecting Pool”, the rhythmic bustle of “Numb Drums”, the glassy-eyed melancholia of “Arhythmia” and the cinematic paranoia of “Burning Off The Morning Fog”. It’s also evident amongst the classically beat-less ambient of closing cut “Weightless”, whose alien electronics, effects-laden pulses and opaque chords recall established masters of the genre.
With The Reflecting Pool, Letkiewicz has provided us with a much-needed dose of stress-free musical escapism, at the same time offering hope that in these troubling times, love may still save the day.