Review of Live In Melbourne [12k2008]

Earlabs (.ORG)

Almost a year ago three sound artists sharing parallel musical aesthetics performed live at a club in the city of Melbourne, Australia. Solo Andata, Seaworthy, and Taylor Deupree treated the club’s guests that night to trio of warm, laidback acoustic-electronic soundscapes. As recorded by 12k owner Taylor Deupree. Live in Melbourne presents to the listener the wonderful sonic happenings of that evening.

Live in Melbourne shows both aspects of the current 12k aesthetic. Solo Andata and Seaworthy show how pure digital sounds can be blended with the organic sounds of real instruments (piano, guitar) to create an affecting fusion of the two. Taylor Deupree offers something closer to the original 12k sound by remaining mainly in the digital domain – letting tiny, delicate shreds of electronic noise and beautiful digital tones create a fragile, natural ambiance.

The duo Paul Fiocco and Kane Ikin, although separated by an ocean, cooperate as Solo Andata. Newcomers to 12k, they have a full-length release Fyris Swan on Hefty Records. Their set is the most complex of three both in terms of the instrumentation used and in the mesh of musical styles. An amalgamation of real instrumentation samples (piano, guitar, drums, horns) and electronic textures is used to create a rich, seventeen-minute soundscape containing beautiful tones, plucked strings, sad melodies, skittering electronics, and intricate percussion that is brimming with free-jazz influences.

Seaworthy is the three-member collective consisting of Cameron Webb, Sam Shinazzi, and Greg Bird. The group’s Map in Hand CD was released by 12k in Novemeber 2006. Their nineteen-minute improvised set is a spacious, gently meandering, minimal soundscape of beautiful guitar melodies, field recordings, grainy electronic textures, and graceful digital tones. The atmosphere of the their set is vibrant but not in a ostentatious, distracting way. Restrained shifts in tenor, texture, and melody give the impression of drifting effortless through time and place.

Making sure that the audience gets a chance to savor the original signature 12k sound that focuses on gently textured, digital minimalism, Taylor Deupree concludes the evening by delivering a very moving thirteen-minute set that he so fittingly and rather modestly describes himself as a “sparse bed of tones and digital detritus.” All seemingly completely digital in composition, his set comes across amazingly pristine and organic.

Live in Melbourne is another excellent release from 12k documenting a live performance of some the best comtemporary electronic and post-electronic music out there.

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