Review of Volume Objects [12k1045]

Collective Zine (UK)

12k is a label I have come to obsessed with in the past 18 months, for pretty much everything they release is gold. Bar a few misfires and things that obviously don’t interest me, I can safely purchase any release on this label and be pretty pleased with the result. This latest cd on the label, from Austici (UK), is mostly pleasing, although there are moments where it loses my attention.

Everything starts off very nicely, in the land of slumbering, drifting electronica – pleasant whirrs and clicks, with enough melodic interference to keep things honest. It’s warm, lovely stuff that I will always appreciate, even if it does initially sound remarkably similar to any number of other releases I have picked up down the years on 12k and other assorted labels (I would whole heartedly recommend a Japanese label called Plop if you are interested in exploring the genre). Things wander off around track 4, “Broken Guitar, Distorted Violin”, where a distracting violin enters the fray. And track 5 ventures slightly into noise territory, being a bit random as it is. “Ageless Visitor, Eroded Form” is also a touch abstract, with whoosh-y effects and alarming, almost submarine-esque pings crashing in. The ten minute long “Attaching Softness to a Shell [C]” reigns things back slightly, but retains the darker mood that the album started to creating, with disconcerting effects and samples mixed in. I think it was around this point that I realised I hadn’t been listening close enough earlier on, there are all sorts of hidden sounds on this cd, and with this genre it is all too easy to stick the album on as background noise and not really get involved. Wear headphones and start paying attention, and it becomes a whole lot clearer.

I should also mention that the packaging, as with all 12k releases, is special – very nice black and white photography with an 8 page booklet to showcase it.

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