Surely the only act ever to sneak beatless, blissed-out ambient music onto A-Trak and Catchdubs’ Fools Gold label, Toronto’s Jokers of the Scene are nothing if not versatile. Now, after two years of radio silence, the duo of Linus Booth and Chris Macintyre resurface on a new label with their new album, End Scene.
The title aside, the album feels like a new beginning for the pair. Across a dozen tracks to be released as a joint venture between Throne of Blood and New Kanada, the Jokers give free rein to their imaginations and their synthesizers; the result is an album that draws from classic techno, piano house, ’80s electro-pop, and New Age without ever settling into a single style. It’s all as lush as grass after a spring rain, and as nostalgia-tinged as a beaten-up cassette tape. (Appropriately, the album is getting its own cassette release via Los Angeles’ Mount Analog, along with the usual vinyl and digital formats.)
You can stream the entire album right here, from the scene-setting “Umbilical Chords” to the sun-baked digital bonus cut, “A Lovely Sort of Death,” drawn from a limited-edition 7-inch from 2012. And while you’re at it, watch the tape-warped and pixel-crusted video for “Industrial Blonde,” a found-footage clip put together for the band by New York artist Sean Dack. The double LP is out this week; the digital release follows on June 10.