Thursday, November 17, 2005

New releases on 12k & Line

Smallfish has some fabulous new Electronica releases this week from 12k and Line. All of them are on the more experimental Electronica tip and they're all well worthy of investigation.

Antti Rannisto - Aaniesseita - 12k [12K1034] - CD - £10.99

I've been waiting for this one for what seems like months now after having one heard one sample MP3 and now it's finally here I'm blown away by the full album. Whilst it's something of a departure for 12k in a lot of respects it's still very much in line with the general minimalist nature of the label. Antti's previous 12" for was clearly a good signifier for what was to develop and its stripped down, quite blatantly Finnish style Techno was very refreshing indeed and this wonderful 11 track work is heavy, deep, ultimately reduced and really quite superb. Imagine a blend of Frank Bretschneider, Mika Vainio, Pansonic and general early Sahko releases and you're getting close to how this sounds. Ultra-minimal tones and bass sounds with immaculately heavy production and mastering coupled with some crisp, yet subtle 4/4 beats make for a devastating and incredibly intense experience. When he concnetrates on just the tones there's a resonance that vibrates through your whole body and leaves a residual impression long after the track has finished. Simply an incredibly good album that really gets into your head and an essential for fans of the aforementioned labels and artists. Props to 12k for going out on a limb and massive respect to Antti for representing in a big way. Highly recommended.

Sawako - Hum - 12k [12K1035] - CD - £10.99

Japanese artist Sawako's work is concerned with the manipulation and processing of organic and electronic sounds and the creation of delicate yet full sounding tracks that fully expoit the range of her talents. 'Hum' is a delicious cocktail of flavours that is friendly, charming and engaging right from the outset. Magical tones and textures are conjured from the most everyday of scenarios and the incidental recordings of found sounds adds a personal level to the recordings. Always warm, but with the occasional challenging moment, this CD is similar at times to the work of Keiichi Sugimoto (Minamo / Fourcolor) or Greg Davis, but has less of a strict feel and with musical contributions from both Taylor Deupree and Kenneth Kirschner, you're absolutey guaranteed to be getting pure quality. Beautiful, heartwarming and an absolute must for fans of ambient, atmospheric music everywhere. Highly recommended.

Doublevends Vert - Cistern - Line [LINE_024] - CD - £10.99

Doublevends Vert provide Line's first acoustic-based album. And what a splendid piece of work it. They are a four piece act that use violin, accordion, clarinets and timbales to create dense, musical textures and soundscapes and 'Cistern' was recorded in a two million gallon underground reservoir in Fort Worden, Washington. The sonic acoustics of the environment add a striking quality to an already amazing sound and the processed nature of the music is heady, intense and incredibly hypnotic. The instruments used create a semi-classical feel to the music and this theme recurs throughout. Melodic, for the most part, and arranged (albeit in an improvised fashion) to perfection, there's a cohesive sound to everything that keeps it flowing. At times it soars and uplifts and at others it haunts you... surely the sign of a good album. Possibly one of the most accessible releases so far on Line and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Recommended? You bet. With knobs on.

Seriously good sounds for those of you into contemporary digital minimalism.

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