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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Marcus Fischer - Collected Dust [Tench - 2012]

Marcus Fischer is a purveyor of evocative minimal ambience; the seven pieces featured on Collected Dust are polite, warm, detailed, and deep. Kindred spirit Taylor Deupree, with whom Fischer has collaborated and for whose label 12k he records, refers to this kind of music as “microscopic sound,” and it is easy to hear why. Fischer demonstrates a remarkable ability to flesh out slight music—so barely composed that it could be entirely randomized or automated—with snippets of field recordings and other unique sonic details. His sound design is memorable even when his amorphous pieces flow by like water spilling out of a cup: momentum in all directions yet no particular destination.

On his blog Dust Breeding in 2009, Fischer began documenting his creative pursuits, whether musical, visual, or crafty, and achieved his goal of producing something new every day for a year. The pieces on Collected Dust were originally featured as part of that project and have been curated by M. Ostermeier for Tench Records. Reworked since the original recordings, the end result isn’t vastly different from Fischer’s impressive 2010 debut Monocoastal, though his consistency is a testament to how much of an auteur he is. “Constant,” which opens the record with his signature sound fully intact, seems to hint at self-awareness.


The thirteen-and-a-half minute “Halfway to Six” is the centerpiece of the collection and the only lengthy track; it overstays its welcome despite constantly evolving. Featuring light and slight guitar sounds throughout, it occasionally sounds like a preset from a second generation Buddha Machine and reaches a slightly maddening rhythm at its boiling point that never allows the individual sounds to find footing.


The best piece is “Sixteen Shapes,” which introduces long analogue tones that change dramatically right before they peter out. It reflects extraordinary expertise in impeccable timing on Fischer’s part but ends much too soon. It could also symbolically represent his creative development and bodes well for the future.

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

Richard T Williams
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