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Joanne Robertson is heard as a creation of fiction or a story to unfold from a lost artist from another time that now reaches the present. But it’s all very real, Robertson belongs to the now and uses this existence as a spell to attract the listener, fitting him into an enigmatic puzzle of voice and guitar creations. The sensibility of “Painting Stupid Girls”, an album released in 2020 on World Music, encapsulated the singer’s genuineness and mystery in six songs, with the naturalness of the homemade sound and a DIY spirit that carries the delights of folk singers of the past, linking Joni Mitchell to Sibylle Baier emotionally. He has a gift for combining the realm of reality with the stuff of dreams. She carries the terrain for the dreamlike, and vice versa, moving folk tradition to the experimental/avant-garde, while expanding her voice into infinite time and space. It is possible that it was this gift, this voice, which is heard as if it did not exist in any place or time, that won Dean Blunt, and convinced him to let Robertson be a presence that comes to mind as soon as you think about it. “Black Metal” or “Black Metal 2”. Speaking of Dean Blunt, we also recommend the album they recorded together, “Walhalla”, at Textile, where they openly experience what each one can give to the other. It is not by chance that the delicacy of folk, the absent-present voice of Joanne Robertson, reminds me of Arthur Russell. It belongs to the mythical, to the eternal discovery and fascination of experiencing something that seems to no longer exist. But here it exists, it’s very real, and that gives it a whole other dimension.
She lived in London for a long time, but now resides in Glasgow, with her husband, Jasper Baydala, or Kool Music, the mask that the guitarist chose for his compositions that elegantly mix touches of Japanese experimentalism, the expansive language of Jim O’ Rourke and Derek Bailey’s Breathing. “Zen Guitar”, released in 2020 on Primordial Void, takes on these influences with a healthy casualness in three-minute songs. AT