* Matte laminate and embossed sleeve, printed in monochrome with a full colour artist edition fold out poster featuring the photographic work of Joel Westendorf * On Jubilee, Los Angeles based artist Robert Takahashi Crouch conjures a profoundly personal vibrational landscape. The edition, which is a mediation on, and suture for experiences of conflict and violence, Jubilee merges longform low-frequency drone work against a reductive sense of harmony. It is a record of hushed intensity, punctuated with moments of ascendant dynamism. Jubilee, whilst innately personal at its heart, is ultimately invitational in that it affords a space in which the listener becomes paramount, their narrative and reflections in the moment as critical and valuable as those of the album’s creator.
From Robert Takahashi Crouch “The three tracks that comprise Jubilee are deeply personal reflections on significant events in my life, joyful and traumatic, and the larger social contexts that inform my own understanding of these experiences. As much as my sexuality and ethnicity have positioned me as someone looking in from the margins, I am also cognizant of those spaces I occupy as a member of the dominant culture: I perform masculinity in a relatively traditional manner, and I am often presumed to be white. As a bi-racial person, having to internalize racism while simultaneously projecting the face of it is a uniquely painful kind of invisibility. This internal contradiction is fundamental to how I conceptualized the work. As I began the composition process, I knew I wasn’t interested in creating a uniform narrative or dictating the terms of how the music is to be listened to. Rather, I saw the process as an opportunity to collect and organize sounds, texts, ideas, and images that could create not just a a context for listening, but a space for a listener to inhabit. Two of the three tracks were refined over the course of a few years where they were performed publicly. The idea of a shared listening experience is embedded in how I thought of this record. At its core, the album is about creating a space for self-forgiveness. In 2021, this seems like an important element missing in larger cultural conversations. I remember during the 2008 U.S. recession seeing Hakim Bey’s writing about the concept of the jubilee gaining increased visibility. Bey described the jubilee as a long-neglected Judeo-Christian celebration where ‘all debts were cancelled, lands were returned to their traditional inhabitants, slaves and prisoners were set free, all taxes were suspended, fields lay fallow, gleaning rights were extended to all, people quit their labors and joined in all manner of feasting and revelry.
Originally written in 1992, his essay was also a call to collective action to reinstate the law of jubilee at a time when the fundamental instability of American capitalism was approaching a breaking point.
While Bey’s utopian vision of a “grand jubilee” failed to materialize at that time, the concept of forgiveness, and by extension contrition, as a joyful and celebratory collective action has incorporated itself into an imagining of how we might reshape our understanding of community.”