Commend There 007

Strugglin’ – Pitch Pine

Strugglin’ is Justin Felton, the Brooklyn born and raised musician and multi-instrumentalist. Having previously explored sound under the moniker Barraco Barner, Pitch Pine is the first documentation of this new identity, and the latest installment of THERE, Commend’s ongoing series of music recorded beyond but inspired by the communal efforts of RVNG Intl.’s Lower East Side space.

Recorded between April and June 2021, the seeds of Pitch Pine were nurtured by a morning routine during which Felton improvised playing just after waking up, using different tools to craft the semi-lucid flow of sound. On his walk to work shortly after, Felton collected artifacts from the familiar environments he traversed as voice memos. After a few weeks of gathering, time blurring as it does, Felton collaged the separately sourced, uncategorized sounds, mostly to an SP-404, and then track to cassette, subconsciously allowing the chance sound connections to follow new rhythmic modes and surprise their maker.

While Felton had no preconceived plan for these diaristic documents to form a total body of work, Pitch Pine takes on a complete form, the compositions tangling together, unpruned of imperfections and sturdy as such. Felton sifts and shifts through sound, finding sentiment in its sediments, and stretching these artifacts even further across compact canvases. When Felton’s exceptional guitar work takes stage on Pitch Pine, it moves between docile signatures akin to Loren Mazzacane Connors’ work and the mechanistic modes of RemkoScha.

Felton explains that some of the ephemeral qualities of Pitch Pine were lucky moments. At the same time, percussive forms new to Felton’s practice feel more than coincidental throughout Pitch Pine, and even thematic. In tasking time to evolve the generative core of Felton’s daily music mediation, patterns holistically appear and often stay awhile. These recordings would fit in well with FAX +49-69/450464’s catalog thirty years ago, and alongside the contemporary excursions of West Mineral Ltd., but are more immediately identifiable as those familiar, foggy notions that appear when traversing the unconscious to conscious.