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Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words - A Line: Align [Mystery Sea - 2008]

Dead Letters Spell out dead words make very stripped and quiet ambient collage music, but here they seem to strip their sound down even further than any of their other work I’ve heard in the past. These are sonics for silent rooms or late at night which even at high volume make little impact.

The sound here is built around a slow unfolding tapestry of shifting static, clock ticks, distant buzzers and taps, settling tones and general quiet field recording, with distant drone elements and slightly more louder noise and field recording elements break ever so often the very subtle sonic surface. Yet for all it’s subtlety it does manage to suck you into (if you’re in the right frame of mind) each track which maps out a surreal and micro landscape of it's own. In all, the album offers up three pieces which together total just under 50 minutes running time. Opening up the album we have At Keller's Park(summer 2006) which begins barely slipping into sonic view with an patterns of static tone movement. Latter on scratching, bends and scuttles and settling tones are added with a distant drone textures that threaten to suddenly bloom, but never do. Through towards it's end the track does move into a relatively more noisy collection of motor buzz, clicks and settles; feeling like micro industrial music. The other two tracks follow a similar pattern in the subtle yet effective sound painting tones with at times quite detailed and complex micro sonics being built up.

This is ambient/ collage music that needs a lot of patience, a quiet room and a fair bit of concentration on the listeners part. It’s not for everyone, but if you enjoy quiet, yet cleverly built and designed ambience you’ll enjoy this.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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