Review of Blueprints [12k1039]

The Wire (UK)

This preview of 12k’s 2007 releases is in keeping with the label’s minimalist ethos. Six recently signed artists take bare-boned concepts and skeletal structures, and work on them with micro-variations and contrasts in tone and texture. From the US, Christmas Decorations combine treated guitars with fluttering electronics in see-sawing, stop-start patterns. Sydney’s Seaworthy contribute the guitar drone and shimmer of “New Zealand” and the isolated twanging melodies of “Map in Hand Pt. 2”. UK-based Andrea Polli’s Autistici uses bubbling electronica and fragmented, shuffling noise with an underlying melodic bent on the two parts of “Attaching Softness to a Shell”, while Yorkshire’s Jodi Cave explores acoustic guitar drones and chimes with contrastingly coarse and smooth surfaces. Norwgian trio Pjusk produce deep, murmuring dronescapes and intricate, chirruuping sounds before shifting into languorous amience. Finally, Londoner Leo Abrahams feeds real-time guitar playing through a laptop to create a pair of fluid, pulsating, dreamlike pieces. All the artists share a fascination with intricate layering and the mechanics of sound, but also with simple melodic elements that offset the edgier experimentation, without losing a shared sense of inspired unpredictability. – Tom Ridge

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