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V/A - Blank Field [Alien8 Recordings - 2005]

Blank Field brings together the works of various sound and noise artist including Merzbow, Daniel Menche, Oren Ambarchi etc. The tracks are taken from live recordings made during the Francisco Lŏpez curated Festive of the same name, which  are then cleverly and almost seamless edited together by Lŏpez giving it a feel of one big  environment or piece. Though each piece is clearly different from each other, they seem like chapters of a book, each telling it’s own related tale, so the title of Blank Field seems wondefully apt.

Along the way we touch down in odd almost environmental  recordings, haunted ambience, glighty rhythmic expanses, noise and general mood and picture setting sound. Lŏpez sequences the tracks so we start up in calmer waters and valleys for the first three tracks, then the last three become more agitated and volatile almost like this beautiful planet and soundscape you’ve been introduced to is become ripped by storms and natural disasters. A once calm, but some how sadden eden becoming torn apart.

As expected all artist involved give some wonderful performances, with this works best as a whole- but a few of my favourite moments would be;  The Merzbow track ,which carries off the recent rather disappointing trips into dub in a much more captivating manner. The noise layers and low bassy fluctuations come off  like a more active and volatile take on material from 2005's Merzbudda. The Oren Ambarchi  track with its slow waving and unfolding organ tones that  hover in end-of- hope jazz come bleak blues, via glighty electronics growing interruptions.

An very rewarding and varied  project that shows Lŏpez great ability to set mood and paint sound pictures, even with others work.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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