Suburb the Record Label - Limited Edition Sampler, Vol. 1





[Non Visual Objects,]

Though I dread these silly categories, maybe quiet music would best suit these releases. Associated with London Electrics Collective, comes a new UK label Suburb. "Limited Edition Sampler, Vol. 1" is a showcase of the London label's lounge electronica. Lots and lots of d'n'b, together with some dub-light, break-beats, sampling galore, reverb and gentle swooshes of sound make for a fascinating listen. Can all of these ingredients fit the bag within a 70 minute framework? Sure, if you know how to mix things right. It can't hurt the outcome any if RJ Valeo [Type Records fame] mastered the album. Stand out for track is the crazed-shit on Malt Water's "Buddy Peace". In a retrospective fashion, the track leads us on a mellow ride through the 60's. See if you can pick up where the bass line is lifted from! Huge Man Shoes' "Hyl" is an amazing showcase of lighter, buzzy electronica, while Climate Control gives us something akin to light, feathery laptop dub. The closing "Immovable Object" by The Bright Place is a study in minimal ambience. Thing is, entire disc is shrouded in an aura of calmness and warmth. Limited to 1000 units, I highly recommend you pick this up soon.
Second collaborative effort between ambient purveyors Ian Boddy and Robert Rich is an affair for the senses. As much as you could file "Lithosphere" in the Eno book of "Music For" series, it is much more than that. Sources for the recording may sound foreign, though the sounds are immediately soothing and even relaxing. Rich is heard on the record processing his lap steel guitar and adding waves of sound on his analogue MOTM modular system. All the while, Boddy adds some keyboard dribbles along with percussive elements. In fact, these percussive elements are quite delicate in nature - glass, mallets, and sampled gongs. In its entirety, music retains a floating, other-worldly aura. Fifty minutes on the recording go by in a snap, leaving you with only one option - to repeat an aural journey one more time. Without a false sound in the bunch, "Lithosphere" turns out to be another strong effort from a pair of ambient masters.
Non Visual Objects is a label that has been making its mark on the ultra-minimal scene for nearly a year now. Releasing ultra limited editions [Richard Chartier, Heribert Friedl, Steve Roden, Roel Meelkop]; the releases always come packaged in gorgeous paper-bound sleeves. This time around on "Territorium", NVO label gives us morsel-sized portions of sounds from four crucial minimal purveyors. On "Circle", Richard Garet spews out an ultra-quiet field recording made in South America, NYC [streets, subway]. To this, he adds processing from his studio. High frequency pitch permeates this piece throughout, while doors slam, birds chirp and who the hell really knows the true source of the tape anyhow. Dale Lloyd [whose "Semper" CD was one of the stand-out releases of last year] provides "Anamorphic_AT", a piece that he stresses has no insect or amphibian sounds. His field recording is processed so heavily, to a point where you actually start to believe you're hearing fireflies, crickets and bees buzzing all around you. If there is a stand-out piece on the compilation, Jos Smolders' "Aiolos (Vangsaa Exterior)" would have to be it. Recorded outside of a Danish cottage, the star of the thirteen minute piece is the wind. Its sound is fascinating, perplexing and freighting in one go. Jos processed wind further through a CDP plug-in, which gives source sounds even more clarity. The last three short pieces are by Ubeboet. He claims the pieces are "a nocturnal, psychogeographical approximation to certain acoustics phenomena found in urban, unnatural environments without human presence". Sound is extra-terrestrial. No shit! I've no idea what the sources for Ubeboet's pieces are nor do I particularly need to know. From beginning to end, "Territorium" is another strong addition to NVO's already stimulating catalogue.

- Tom Sekowski

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