Crousetown, Nova Scotia’s Jay Crocker revs up Joyfultalk for another kinetic record of rhythm and ooze. Whereas previous Joyfultalk outings have grown out of Crocker’s singular, often solitary practice of instrument-building (he calls his creations “compositional systems”), Familiar Science finds him engaging former collaborators to expand his palate. Recording were created by Nicola Miller (saxophone and flute), Kyle Cunjak (bass), Eric Hamelin (percussion), and Chris Dadge (percussion). Then, across the album, Crocker manipulated these stems into wriggling compositions, chopping and tossing them with his own playing on keyboards, bass, and guitar, and with archival clips of the late Calgary saxophonist Dan Meichel. Many of these instrumental performances, which are largely rooted in free jazz and funk, are remarkable in their own right: Miller’s flute guides the groovy “Blissed for a Minute,” and her saxophone is a sharp interlocutor for the wild percussion on “Hagiography.” While the core of Joyfultalk remains present here—Crocker’s scrappy and innovative method has an indelible stamp—Familiar Science is still something of a revelation. In recasting Crocker’s compositional technique over a broader range of source material, the record uncovers a dialogue with Black musical traditions that have long animated Joyfultalk and undoubtedly influenced its contemporaries on the East Coast, from improvisation to indie rock. Familiar Science is Joyfultalk in top form—a confident and admirably gregarious step forward by the Nova Scotia underground’s most resolute tinkerer.