review

Still single/dusted

Most compilations I've come across in recent years always have more clunkers than stand-out tracks, so I avoid them. It always came across that a lot of these collections were the burial ground for unfinished music, worthless demos and sub-par recordings. So it was to my surprise to find a comp where every track was perfectly composed and sequenced, and were of album quality structure and sound. No cliché themes or guidelines, just a batch of songs by composers, songwriters and arrangers culled from their own personal archives to be showcased for the listeners. Very haunting and beautiful, a majority of the tracks on here are elegant folk ballads using acoustic guitar with sparse arrangements, whether it be through strings or droney electronics. Tracks by Sir Richard Bishop and Mike Wexler are prime examples of amazing folk out-takes done in their respective styles. Danish weirdo-folkies el-g, sus et jakob bring on a early Banhart influence with a trippy psych-out, hashing out some freak style jams. Things get more noisy and experimental with contributions by Liberez, who using some low-end bass device over radio station vocal feedback reminding me of my favorite Muslimgauze records. Similarly, the piece composed by Duane Pitre releases an ensemble for sine wave study, to be reproduced in various methods such as various volume levels, different room sizes and various loudspeakers (Duane was my old downstairs neighbor, and I heard days' worth of this action through the floor ... it's all good, sup Duane? - Ed.). More traditional piano minimalist pieces follow, by contributor Ilitch, entitled "Chambre 1"; Thierry Muller plays Arvo Part-esque minimalist modified piano through various filters, recounting earlier endeavors by Stockhausen and Penderecki.