Review of Between Two Points [12k1012]

Ambientrance (US)

A unique Various Artists comp profiles both the 12k label and its even-more-micro node, Line…

In this case, the line Between Two Points is thin indeed… microscopic, even; these tiny audioworlds often seem to exist in a zone of digitized ambience or even further hidden away on an intriguingly submolecular level…

The first disc (11 tracks @ 72:11) focuses on 12k, adding a few new names to its usual roster… for instance, Sogar, whose effervescent buzzes and clicks of “L1” are stirred into soft mechanical drones. Taylor Deupree’s own “Bare (Bare)” emits a strand of self-replicating chimes amid a lightly glaring sheen. Long-runner “Aftersnd_Birth (in 4 parts)” (12:21) sputters, blips and resonates, arranged by Mark Fell into semi-rhythmic patterns, or just allowed to drift very quietly.

Faint tempo-matching pips exist behind lovely “Grammar”‘s humming fluctuations, then set afloat a steady-state tonal plane courtesy of Dan Abrams. From some silicon rift, shifting multiplanar forms interact almost-organically, as envisioned by Kim Cascone in “Dust Theories (Sferic 1 Mix)”. Like some insectoid communication, Vend counts “1.2.3.” in wet little clicks.

The second disc (8 tracks @ 56:19) enters on Roel Meelkop’s generally quiet “Liner”, which veers once from its course, into more active micronoise. “Vibra” (3:29) from our favorite female micro-artist Miki Yui, offers a short emission of machine-like essences and wispy highs. Long strands of droning resonance are underscored by steady mechanized rumblings in “Kernel Panic”(10:28) from Bernhard G√ľnter.

Beneath the faint electronic warbles etched into Steve Roden’s “Mobile Stabile” a throbbing space-engine seems to thrum. Quavery blipping/ringing tones from *0 are seperated by periods of virtual silence when “2.001k” close the comp.

Other artists include: Noto, Mikael Stavöstrand, Komet, 0/r, GOEM, Richard Chartier, Immedia and Duul_Drv.

Whether you find these 19 miniaturized audioscapes to be tantalizing or frustrating, Between Two Points represents the talents of this subgenre’s finest sound-sculptors. Perfect for at-the-computer headphone-listening because it makes you feel somehow more in tune with the inner workings of your machine… well, it does me, anyway. An overall 8.7.

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