Review of Below Sea Level [12k1071]

Experimedia (US)

Brand new album by UK-based guitarist/sound artist Simon Scott for the 12k label. This release mines the familiar tropes that we’ve come to expect from Taylor Deupree’s imprint over the past few years: subtle field recordings of nature, digital fx processing, looped guitar phrases and a liberal application of reverb. As the press release points out, the artwork, title and indeed the album’s sonics take as their point of inspiration the Fens wetland, located in East Anglia, UK. This release is, we’re told, sourced less from guitar than Scott’s previous outings, an assertion that I suspect is meant to draw our attention to the details of the rather beautiful hydrophone/field recordings, as I’m fairly certain I hear quite a bit of guitar-sourced material in all of these pieces. The album’s seven tracks form a seamless and coherent narrative of carefully sculpted motifs. The abundance of field recording-based material makes me think of the work of fellow 12k recording artists Solo Andata. In the concluding piece, which serves as a comedown from the album’s most bombastic track, watery sounds are wed to faraway drones to superb effect. Ultimately, <i>Below Sea Level</i> proves to be another solid installment of the current 12k ethos and certainly comes recommended to fans of this type of ambience. – Alex Cobb, Experimedia

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