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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

Go to the Various Artists website  Various Artists - Touch 25 [Touch - 2006]

Touch 25 is an audio and visual  celebration of the touch label's 25 years in existence. They are one of the most respected and quality consistent labels in the sound work, ambient, electronics fields.

On offer here are exclusive tracks from the likes of Biosphere, Fennesz, pan sonic, Philip Jeck and many more. Working more like a collection of audio snapshots then a conventional   compilation, this makes it the more approachable as an all-in-one audio experience, which neatly fits together. As usual with all touch productions, the design and artwork is unparallel, each track has its own photo in the accompany booklet and the digpak is constructed as a piece of art, as well as hold the cd nice and safe. They’ve also managed to fill the cd length near to the top just short of 80mins, so you can really let the experience float over you, undisturbed.
 
BJ Nilsen opens the compilation with Gotland, which offers up the wonderfully calming ambience, of slow crashing wave, like tones. Which turns out to have been recorded on the southwest coast of Gotland, during an icey stay there. Later on Chris Watson's conversations is just that, but  it’s between the creaking and dragging of chains of a huge dredger, as rolls its way along the river Clyde. Ryoji  Ikeda  untitled # 25 ,ushers the listener into a room full of opening flower drones, that develops slowly into head-drilling pitches of sound giving a strangle hypnotic feel, that still seems to  be imprinted in your mind, long after the tracks ended. Almost a slight feel of woozy off -balance, tinged with a clinical air. All I can say is, I advise the listener to be seated when playing it.

Biosphere mangers once again to merge natural sounds into breath- taking ambient canvas. Pulling together the sound of fire crackle and wolves, along with rushing water, and as the track develops he adds bird song in such a captivating manner. Fennesz's Tree offers up a tranquil piece guitar work, sailing with exquisite brushing along the surface of a pound ambience. One can imagine  watching, a trees heavy  limbs stroking  a streams water, making a wonderfully track to drift off with.

A captivating and invigorating mix of sound, music and sight. An enchanting sound photo album, on which you can imprint your own visions and memories on to . More than a compilation, it’s a piece of art.

 

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

Roger Batty
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