Beaudry metro, sometime a couple of years back, I was busking with my guitar, singing my favorite songs, and strumming away when a guy named Jason Deeh Pitre walked by and hung around to listen. He was carrying an electric guitar case and a portable battery-powered speaker: buskers are easy to spot sometimes. I’ve been friends with him ever since on Facebook, and have thus witnessed the quantity of media this guy puts out. One of his projects, The Scroll, has released twelve albums and EPs to date. You may have already seen and heard Jason, as he often busks on St. Catherine Street, at the corner of Union right beside the Bay’s front doors.
The Scroll’s latest release is called It Will Never Come, Lover, and Jason describes it as something that would fit well in the Tech Noir club scene of The Terminator or Taffey’s Bar in Blade Runner. It starts with “Hybristophilia” (a paraphilia in which sexual arousal, facilitation, and attainment of orgasm are responsive to, and contingent upon, being with a partner known to have committed an outrage). The song starts with stabs from a distorted electric guitar joined by glitchy electronic sounds. A fast-paced synth bass riff sets the tempo of this silky yet edgy song. A saxophone (played by Katherine Paradis) slides in, while a super-compressed drum beat takes over the rhythm. The production on this song is very good; already I can hear a range of textures that fit well together, and everything is loud and clear. Jason’s voice is doused in reverberation as he sings delicate, breathy verses. Repeating, “I long to forget, I wanted to know,” Jason seems to be singing about curiosity killing the cat. The song takes a twist in the last few seconds, going into full club and house territory with a sample of the lyrics chopped up and thrown in, just the way a good DJ would do it.
“You Know Empathy, Right?” follows with a cheery and ambient mix that sounds like Tame Impala jamming with The Wailers. The song also features a ton of electronic, finely-tuned noise that slowly takes over the mix near the end. All I could think of was that this song sounds like a sunset. “How Can I Luv U Without Cheating On The 1 I Luv” kicks off with a steady drum beat and synth pad sounds that remind me of Tycho. A groovy bass line riffs under Jason’s falsetto, while a funky guitar strums somewhere in the distance. I’ve heard his shows are dance parties, and listening to this album makes me want to buy a standing desk. If you like ambiance and dance grooves, check this out.
“Debonair” is the fourth track on this album, and here we get something closer to deep house. Massive sub-bass frequencies shake the ground while electronic samples provide an industrial edge. Vocal layering builds onto this song’s repeating theme, which is closed by a funky guitar solo. “A Total Lack Of Respect For My Heart” begins with a bunch of acoustic guitar riffing, soon joined by a lovely duet consisting of Jason and Millie Rosado singing together. The second half of the song incorporates a sped-up… guitar solo (I think), while the percussion switches to a more tribal rhythm, giving this ending a frenetic, emotional overall feel. “Nefarious 極悪な” is next, and it reminds me a lot of Beck’s Midnight Vultures if that album had been made in the eighties. Samples of spoken Japanese are slipped into the mix, making me feel like I’m at an airport terminal on a trip somewhere far away.
This album has seventeen songs. I’ve listened to them all and they’re all great. If I could, I’d describe each one, but if I did that, this review would span a dozen pages. It Will Never Come, Lover is packed with great ideas, catchy melodies, funny song titles, awesome production, and tons of music. Jason seems to be onto something here, combining elements from various genres to create something new. One thing’s certain: I’ll be catching their next show.
Written by Dave Tone
*edited by Kate Erickson