Jessamine (...Or What You Mean)

Another band that kicks my ass... JESSAMINE!

Lots of throbby bass, weird keyboard bits, cool over-the-top effects (I've always been a sucker for a ring modulator...), dreamy blisst-out vocals... this is the band I always played for customers who wanted a recommendation + referenced Portishead or Massive Attack...

Sure, there's none of that dancebeat happening, but beyond beat is that lush, trippy vibe + turning someone on to a really cool (at the time kinda) underground band is always preferable to hocking the same ol' schlock alla time. And, of course, indie-rockers into My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth + looking for something different would get steered toward Jessamine, as well as Bardo Pond, Labradford, TFUL282 and (cuz I love em soooo much + they're sooo damn good) Tortoise.

Jessamine's line-up was:
  • Rex Ritter - guitar/vox
  • Dawn Smithson - bass/vox
  • Andy Brown - keys
  • Michael Faeth - drums


  • Jessamine (Kranky) 1994
  • The Long Arm of Coincidence (Kranky) 1996
  • Don't Stay Too Long (Kranky) 1998
  • (singles compilation) Another Fictionalized History (Histrionic) 1997
  • (with Spectrum) A Pox On You (Space Age Recordings) 1996
  • (with Experimental Audio Research) Living Sound (Histrionic) 1999

Post-Jessamine, Rex Ritter + Andy Brown went on to further sonic experimentations with Fontanelle. Ritter has also been involved in post-metal drone-masters Sunn O))) - whose newest release Monoliths + Dimensions is fookin' excellent!


  1. Hey Paps--
    You said the magic (and noisy) words: My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth. I will be diving into the Jessamine "pond" every-so-soon.

  2. And then thereafter, I might check out the Bardo Pond "pond". :-)