Review of Spec. [12k1007]

Ambientrance (US)

When we interviewed Taylor Deupree in July, he said in reference to his “super synthetic and minimal music”, “i call what i’m doing ‘microscopic sound’…”

Well, he’s doing it again, this time in collaboration with Richard Chartier (the “r” in 0/r). Together they’ve co-created SPEC. which is somewhat like ear-peering through a special audio-microscope to hear the daily lives of digital electrons at work and at play.

Tiny, tiny buzzes and bleeps form a rhythmic counterpoint in “Specification.One; the motes of notes cycle and ring like submolecular chains. “Specification.Two” features more silence than sound, as spaciously arranged pulses expand in a widespread series of soundclones. Faint and sporadic drizzles of static fall in “Specification.Three” (6:27), to be joined by intermittent micro-chimes, several more energetic patterns and a denser, ruffling oscillation; the elements engage in an almost-organic interaction though they are undeniably synthetic.

“Specification.Four” offers another oddly “natural” scene from the realms of digitized soundworlds, with a continual chatter not unlike crickets and a few other talkative insects of the night. Bloopier loops bubble up though “Specification.Five”, dappled with glinting subatomic particles and rougher outbursts. Sounding like a Salsa-flavored synchronization of record-skips and miniature squeaks, “Specification.Six sets up a spry (though miniscule) robotic rhythm.

Though regrettably short, “Specification.Eight” (1:57) is a favorite of mine, a surprisingly atmospheric piece… expansively tranquil yet edgy with anticipation. It’s amazing that such a mood can be imparted through decidedly non-emotional cues as the electronic fragments and quiet drones which inhabit this zone. Similarly, “Specification.Nine” pulses in a state of a low-key introspection, sprinkled with electronic detritus. Things take a turn for the discordant in “Specification.Ten” which resembles scanning the radio dial and receiving nothing but alien signals and gritty interference. Interesting in a freaky way.

The 42.5 micro-electronic minutes of SPEC. will undoubtedly charge those who are tuned in to these particular frequencies, though will come across as glitchy noise to those who aren’t. Taylor Deupree and Richard Chartier obviously know what they’re after in their minimal-digital sound experiments, and have synthesized this 8.6 bit of tech-head heaven.

As with all 12k releases, this disc is limited to 500 copies.

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