Various Artists - Zelphabet Vol E [Zelphabet - 2008]This is the 5th letter volume compilation from the Zelphabet label this time as the title suggests taking in artists beginning with the letter E. We have five tracks on offer here one from each of Ed Osborn, Elliott Sharpe, Emil Beaulieau & Evil Moisture.
First up is the Ed Osborn track entitled Outfield Derivation- which stands as one of the more rewarding tracks here. The tracks built around a series of construction like sounds be it; tightening, clunking, drilling, boring or taping, ect. At first Osborn starts off with a few sounds spread out with silence between them, but over time he adds in more and more till it gets rather manic yet still quite quirky at the same time, it’s like been in a cartoon or child like take on a construction site. Next up is the Elliott Sharp track entitled Ground Return which is extremely testing, boring and tiresome. The track lasts well past the ten minute mark & it’s just built around wavering & pitch shifting bass strum or guitar pick, he just goes over and over the same notes again and again. It sounds like it was made by someone either tuning up their guitar or bass and really has no redeeming qualities
After that we have the Emil Beaulieau’s ThE lEttEr E which offers up quite a dense mix of fairly rapid rolling steel like percussive matter, slowed gamelan and jerking piano key hit’s, very occasional dialogue sample and odd shot or smart of electro noise texturing. It sort of comes like a mixture of; old school industlism, meets the odd noise poke ‘n’ simmer, meets a demented giallo soundtrack with the odd sprinkle of surrealism- rather neat really. Lastly we have Evil Moisture’s Blood Picnic which starts out with noise drills and slowed harmonic percussive matters, which have almost a nightmarish and slowed carnival vibe to it all. As the track progresses there are rather nice sudden tight drum hits ‘n’ clanks adding into at different angles on the stereo channels
So all in all another mainly successful volume in this series; it’s just a pity that the Elliott Sharp track rather ruins the flow and quality of it all.Roger Batty