Yea Big‘s new album, Shapes Explained: For Michael Costanza, springs plantlike from a seed. In this case, the seed is a cheap end-blown wooden flute that his buddy brought him back from the Bahamas twenty years ago, the kind they sell to tourists in souvenir shops. Miraculously, its humble tones give rise to an extraordinarily full feast of sonic majesty, a roomful of spiritual jazz to lovingly fill spaces hungry for the spirit.
It’s the kind of magic Yea Big brings forth every day: since his last record for FPE (2021’s An Emptiness Supreme), Yea Big has released no fewer than six albums on his own, an output pretty much on pace with how he does things. Yea Big’s not so much in or outside of the box, the way he does and thinks, as he is not really concerned if there is a box or not, and/or using the pieces of the box to reassemble into music. There’s an ethos of constantly doing, making, playing, experiencing the wonder of music in Yea Big, like he never stops.
This new one brings the soul of a Pharoah Sanders set on Impulse into the present day, without pastiche or imitation, more like a joyous revel of doing this thing. Stefen Robinson composed, performed, and recorded the whole thing, every instrument, in his basement in Bloomington, IL: not bad for just one punk anarchist buddhist teacher dude. The digital-only release is accompanied by an extremely limited set of unique painted vinyl records by Bloomington artist Dan Garrison.
Shapes Explained: For Michael Costanza will be available digitally from FPE August 26, 2022.