Turning Jewels Into Water
Turning Jewels into Water is an experimental duo consisting of Val Jeanty and Ravish Momin, two electronic musicians and percussionists based in New York. Their improvisation-based work blends broken rhythms and turntable scratching with fluid, abstract textures. Releases such as 2019's Map of Absences draw from the traditions of the artists' respective backgrounds (Jeanty is Haitian and Momin was born in India) while also keeping an ear to global dance music sounds such as kuduro and footwork. The project began in 2017, when Jeanty participated in a jam session at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn where Momin was completing an artist residency. Prior to this collaboration, Jeanty had released an album under the name Val-Inc and performed or showcased exhibitions at numerous museums and festivals throughout America and Europe. Momin had played drums in several free jazz ensembles, led the acclaimed Trio Tarana since 2004, and even performed with Shakira in 2009. Turning Jewels into Water has performed at various international festivals and venues in 2018, including the Bang on a Can Marathon (New York) and Tarcento Jazz Festival (Italy), and their debut EP, Which Way Is Home?, was released by FPE Records in 2018, followed by the duo's first full-length, Map of Absences, in 2019. ~ Paul Simpson
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Electronic/Dance - Released March 15, 2019 | FPE Records
Haitian turntablist/producer Val Jeanty (aka Val-Inc) met Indian drummer and electronic musician Ravish Momin at an artist workshop in Brooklyn in 2017, and the two soon began collaborating as Turning Jewels Into Water. Continuing in the direction set by 2018 EP Which Way Is Home?, TJIW's first full-length is filled with improvisation-based creations that draw from the duo's combined ancestries by electronic instrumentation and samples. They construct broken rhythms using MIDI controllers and drum triggers, and ghostly voices are transmitted via turntable scratches. The choppy rhythms and unpredictable progressions make evident the spontaneity of the duo's creative process; everything sounds live and unprogrammed, and it all moves in a dream-like state. The album's title track mixes tribal drums with Delia Derbyshire-esque electronic tones, while "Desert Fire" is a sort of beguiling Afro-dub. The duo keep their ear to global dance music innovations, dedicating one track to Lisbon-based visionary Nídia and handing others over to producers such as Kenya's Slikback and Mexico City's Nueve Vidas. While informed by styles like footwork and kuduro, TJIW never try to directly emulate them, instead forging their own cross-cultural path which envisions a more positive, unified world. ~ Paul Simpson
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