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Ex Reyes Turns Jonah Parzen-Johnson's Minimalist Sax Strangeness into a Cosmic Dream

Do you want the soundtrack to violent sex followed by tender snuggles or cloud-hopping? OR BOTH?
May 28, 2014, 3:42pm

You know what instruments are underused? Saxophones and harps. How often do you hear the two together? Pretty much never, but thanks to talented Louisiana-born, Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Ex Reyes (that's Mikey Freedom Hart to the IRS), the two are mystically entwined in the track premiering above.

The brilliantly titled "Look Like You're Not Looking" (which is what we all try and do on the regular, if we're honest) was composed by Jonah Parzen-Johnson, a BK-based baritone saxophonist and co-leader of afrobeat deconstructionist ensemble Zongo Junction. According to the official blurb "Jonah explores the relationships between American folk music, including Appalachian folk, jazz, and blues, and 20th Century experimentalism." Damn. JP-J is no sonic slouch. You can listen to more of his stuff here.


Where the original track was the ideal soundtrack to a scene in an offbeat indie where the two protagonists come together and have violent weird-sex followed by tender snuggles, Ex Reyes' rework is more like The Avalanches meets Sun Ra. If a person could go cloud-hopping, this would be the ideal musical accompaniment to the sport.

Ex Reyes had this to say about the remix's genesis: "I got stoned and imagined I was channeling the interplanetary spirits that guide Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, and Albert Ayler." He added: "I don't get stoned very much these days so when I do it can easily result in impulse jazz hip-hop excursions… or TV shows on the couch."

Currently, when Ex Reyes gets off the couch and stops noodling on his bass in the corner of his apartment, you can find him wailing on the guitar for Albert Hammond Jr., Bleachers, and Noisey's favorite funkmaster Gordon Voidwell. Basically, he's really busy making a lot of artists be all they can be, but he also swears that while on tour with these bands this summer you can get your paws on an LP of original Ex Reyes material via mixtapes and merch table giveaways, with solo shows mooted this fall. But let's not think about fall right now. Let's think about cloud-hopping. See you later. Jonah Parzen-Johnson Tour Dates:

6/2 - Brooklyn NY - Manhattan Inn

6/5 - Chicago IL - Elastic Arts

6/6 - Portland OR - Mississippi Pizza

6/7 - Seattle WA -The Piano Studio


6/8 - Seattle WA - The Racer Sessions

6/9 - Seattle WA - The Royal Room

6/11 - San Francisco CA - Center For New Music

6/12 - Santa Cruz CA - TBA

6/13 - Los Angeles CA - Curve Line Spa

Kim is wearing a winter coat in summer because the air conditioning at VICE is just WAY TOO AMPED. She's on Twitter - @theKTB

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