Released: March 2000
Late in 1999, Motion reviewer Dan Hill reviewed a 3 CDR collection called "Solutiore of Stareau." The review described music that blended acoustic guitar and piano sounds with samples, cut-up effects, and CGD atmospheric noodling. I was immediately impressed; unfortunately, that 3 CDR set was never fully released to the world at large. Luckily, however, we have this album, which is a distillation of the third of the 3 CDR collection. What makes this album really impressive--that is, what makes it stand out from other IDM--is the variety of sounds and structures. There are so many different sounds on this 9 song collection that it is very difficult to catalogue them all. What's more, the songs themselves are not your typical CDG-filled, frenzied cut-up madness; they're much quieter, much softer than that. The first song, "ballroom carpet," takes a quiet, acoustic guitar sound and blends it through a distortion filter that churns it up and twists it in and around an ambient synth cloud. The cloud and filter reverberate around, over, and under each other, moving at shutter-speed one minute and at turtle-speed the next. The second song, "spad intro," takes this filter effect further, chopping up a CDG rhythm and compressing it against weird static FX and wild, buzzing samples. All in all, this is an excellent collection of unique, original sounds by an artist and a label to keep a sharp eye on. Here's hoping they release the full 3 CDR version sometime in the near future!
Postscript: Nick (Zammuto) graciously sent me a copy of the first two CDs in this trilogy. The music is vastly different from the work described above. It focuses almost entirely on minimal soundscapes of samples, CGD, and other distortion-laden murmurs. The first disk is quiet atmospherics that are broken up occasionaly by Pole-like blips and beats, which are sometimes organized into rhythms and sometimes not. The second disk is brisker, focusing more intently on those rhythm sounds; there are more patterns here, and even some fractured dance tracks can be identified beneath the fragmented clicks. Both disks are worth hearing, though they differ significantly from the more straightforward music found on Willscher.
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