Friday, December 7, 2007

Webbed Hands

I mentioned this label in the Krebs post - Oneirmancy which I reviewed as a CD-R and his Mystery Sea release had both been re-released here. At 80+ releases it is a big ask to look at, but a couple of things caught my eye.

Some history, the label was created by C P McGill and his brother, in the first instance for CP to release material under about 6 pseudonyms, but has since expanded to include a range of other artists. Release 73 is a McGill anthology which (along with his Rain albums) gives you an opportunity to taste his various personae, which are quite divergent: some ethnic ambience, a bit of more industrial.

On other things, a single release compilation -
Far Afield - number 55 should be pointed to. A double album of sonography/phonography based pieces. Other than Quiet American I hadn't heard of any of the artists, but there is 32 tracks of subtle and diverse envronmental ambience here, with differeing levels of processing on the pieces but retaining the original sense - whether it be city, country or specific sound that has been captured. A lovely release curated by Fred Yarm

I mentioned in the Krebs post the
Rain series. This is an expanding sequence of meditative/relaxing pieces each about an hour long, and with a theme of rain (surprisingly) initially. To quote the site:
"Each Rain is a CD-length ambient recording ideal for listening to while relaxing, working, or socializing. Typically the recordings in this series are minimalistic soundscapes, with motifs played out cyclically and repetitively, rather than progressively, in order to induce a relaxed state of mind."
Again, McGill kicked of the sequence but now a range of artists have had an in put and there are over 20 releases. People have approached it quite differently
  • Saluki Regicide kick off with three similarly structured works - a soft industrial rumbling and elements that drift over - bird calls, snatches of music (an old instrumental, Middle Eastern), environmental sounds, voices and occasional synth crackles that defined the series, and from which it has developed
  • Akashic Crow's Nest appeared early and again more recently - first with gently drifting and then bubbling swirls of electronica and synths.
  • Mystified has produced 3 very minimal pieces that could be brushed percussion or manipulated rain sounds, an electronics sussurus, while in Rain 3 (his first) it was guitars;
  • Djinnistan plays with ambient recordings of water, insects and deep ambient thrums (Rain 1), gentle tones and simple percussive tinkles (Rain 3) and more electronics and rhythms in Rain 2;
  • Ghostheory layers ambient-industrial tones;
  • Krebs' two are shimmering electronics;
  • Tree Helicopter wash a radio signal, simple drums, skitters, gtr/synth chords into a mesmeric atmosphere;
  • Tribe of Astronauts are minmalists - electronic crackling in 1 and deep washing throbs in 2;
  • SpoonPhase drift with drips, burbling background winds and delightful highlights;
  • Rolling Calf Sinfonette go with water, simple percussion and glistening wind tones warbling in 1, harp-samples, grumbling, high-hats over water in 2 and suggestively ethnic percussion, some rocky scrapes, high tones and subtle electronica in 3 (no water)
  • subtle manipulated image-sounds form the basis of the shimmering and subtle pulse crackles and chirrups over a melodic bed of Akashic Crow's Nest soft rain
The fact that most people have moved away from the water/rain theme and stayed with the cyclical soundscape side of the project has kept this set of releases fresh and interesting - together they form a very satisfying ambience

The label has also pointed me in the direction of Mystified's Treetrunk label: more later

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