Peregrination: [ˌperəɡrəˈnāSH(ə)n] NOUN a journey, especially a long or meandering one.
A journey comes in various forms and carries with it a meaning which is different for each who experience it. Much in the vein of music, it is approached with a vastly diverse set of backgrounds and at the outset leaves one changed, if even only slightly.
Reaching a point along his journey which began over fifteen years ago, with only the certainty this is not the end, DIY experimental rock, blues, musical witness Ian James is releasing the appropriately titled Peregrination. The album is a journey, which begins in illuminated blues-influenced jams, subtly progresses deep into an almost Rollins-esc dark reflect.
Largely an instrumental album (only two tracks containing vocals) the record is a journey of collected experiences influenced by lounge, funk, blues and psych jam sensibilities that feel as though it would culminate in a slap-dash, “just hit record” assembly of songs one lays down when they feel the itch. However, when laid end-to-end it is quite obvious this isn’t the case.
Those who have followed James for years (at this point you really should) know what we’ve all come to expect from his sound. Peregrination is a refreshing systematic deviation from the norm for James, subtly delivered in a long-drawn vision that slowly envelops us in the DIY rock styling developed by the musician for over a decade. We can audibly feel the temperature change within. The initial warm beat at the core of “Balcatta” transitions into the meandering, yet oddly captivating “San Diego” which finds us at the tonally thick title-track packed with fuzzed guitar assemblies vying for center. At the outset Peregrination is the telling of a Kerouac-ian journey undertaken by Ian James, but feels like a labyrinth of thought made of rock on a desolate beach somewhere imploring us to journey to the center while clearing our minds and finding meaning applicable to oneself. It is a record that begs for multiple runs through from beginning to end.
Present bass licks, wandering distortions, juxtaposed organ, and a healthy dose of DIY create a patchwork of a tale in Peregrination by Ian James, but the assembly therein is a fascinating reflection of a journey that feels both intimate and not our own all at once.