Having recorded under various names including Trillion, Jody O. Lloyd and Dark Tower, the music of Jody Lloyd is always easy to like, not always easy to classify – he made first waves as a home-grown hip-hop guy, unashamedly Kiwi with that twangy accent and the Baggy Trousers song and then it’s been under the Trillion name that he’s evolved to take in world music and dance music ideas, to confront the singer/songwriter model and conflate that with the role of producer. Here he pairs with pianist Arron Artikai to make Waking Time, a record conceived in Ubud, Bali in late 2013.
The aim was to make a record with a budget – just $40 was allowed to be spent on locally made Balinese instruments, these included shakers, thumb piano, one-stringed guitar, metal and bamboo xylophones, slide whistle, hand drums, a plastic bag, pots and pans – but the key to it all really, and the reason the record developed in the way it did was the meeting with Artikai. A sensitive piano player, he dots and dashes in and around the slow-churning hypnotic grooves and slight vocal chant-mantras that Lloyd creates. It’s a lovely, lo-fi album of softly surprising hues, but it’s that gentle tickle and trickle of piano that informs every loping, lovely step.
The closing Lost In Transformation is the beautiful culmination of it all, the perfect reverie to end on, to sweep you away, to suggest that it’s actually something that never ended, nor started, just a moment in time, caught right in the middle.