On the aptly named Drones, Alden Jenks shares three longform pieces of delicate synthesis recorded in the late 60s and early 70s. While the pieces are hardly blissful, they represent somewhat of a link between the avant-garde and New Age music scenes simultaneously percolating in the Bay Area in that time period.
While the album itself is likely to be a trip down memory lane for my contemporaries (who are also Jenks’ contemporaries), I believe that this album still makes for absorbing listening for those in the “immediate present” who are willing to buy into its ground rules. – Stephen Smoliar
The earliest piece, ‘Lapis’, which Jenks revised in 2016, accompanied a film of mandalas by John Whitney, and showcases the Mills Buchla 100 synthesizer. ‘Space’ is dedicated to Stephen Hill, producer of the longtime Hearts of Space music broadcast series, while ‘Namo’ reflects Jenks’ immersion in Tibetan Buddhism and the classical music of North India. It’s another disc that I recommend to all with whom this description resonates. – Jason Victor Serinus
2. Space (for Stephen Hill)