Donkey Jukebox started life as an art installation by James Green in a Yorkshire pub. Green created pieces of music by looping phrases he played on a French lap organ and weaving them into nonrepeating linear soundscapes. Artist and musician Green is hardly prolific as a solo artist, this being only his second album in 13 years, but in that time he has also formed The Big Eyes Family Players and collaborated with Alasdair Roberts.
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So, James Green makes admittedly beautiful donkey artwork and you can peruse images of his linocuts and screenprints on the interwebs -- but it’s principally his music we’re concerned with here, and the soundtrack is appropriately delicate and Folksy. You’ll probably see what I did there.
Green’s ‘Donkey Jukebox’ arrives in six partitions, the first of which opens very prettily with warm, winsome and melodic drones via his squeezebox / accordion*. There’s a donkey sanctuary near me in suburban North Leeds, and if you have one in your district I’d recommend a visit -- but note that, happily for these most sad-looking of creatures, they’ll be safe and cosy inside during the cold weather. Green’s next snowy scene is painted by gently plinking pianos. He continues to wend his mournful way through discordant accordion and evocative Ghost-Boxy synths, a magical combination that’s both childlike and wistfully adultlike. (Ah, Casiotones: I remember them...)
This music is deliciously wintry, is what I’m trying to say in a roundabout way; I just wish I had a real log fire and a bothy on the Moors to complete the ambience. The record is limited to 150 copies and comes with a very nice risograph print of an animal you may recognise.
*Edit: It's a lap organ. There you go.
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- Donkey Jukebox by James Green
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