Review of For Myria [12k1043]

White Line (UK)

Yet another talent lifted from last year’s excellent Blueprints showcase CD issued by American minimalist supremos, 12k. Jodi Cave is the latest in a growing line of composers to get a full length debut for the label from that collection. The enigmatically titled, For Myria, is a kind of scratch pad of loosely related ideas assembled by Cave from an economy of components and limited instrumentation. Opening with “For Myria (One)”, that seeps into consciousness with lush, dappled sampling, threaded with evanescent tones and tinklings, it comes over as a kind of aural Jackson Pollock painting, splashed and spattered as it is, with a spectrum of found sounds and disjointed instruments, not unlike some of the more expansive moments exhibited by label mate, Sébastien Roux.

In fact, on repeated listens, it becomes apparent that the whole album has that textbook 12k sound, with occasional similarities to several of the artists on the label. Delicate melodic sweeps emerge on some pieces, that are not dis-similar to Motion or Fourcolour, skippy sampling a la Sogar, or Sawako, and bleepy tonal washes here and there very much akin to Annti Rannisto, or Minamo. It would be almost impossible to imagine this collection being issued by any other label, such is the strength of its presence.

High points for me would be the three “Rara” pieces, “A, B and C”, an intricately worked series of “barely there” melodies that hover just below the itchy, visceral samplings that sound like gently clinking wine glasses, or a contact mic rasping over silk. Label master, Taylor Deupree adds his characteristic touch to “Rara C” , but does not overwhelm the piece with his presence. Closing track “For Sine and Breath Tones” is a rich tonal workout, an exercise in compositional restraint that trades momentary silences for slices of sublime minimalist instrumentation, and warm, expansive chords on the keyboards, that over 7 minutes, gradually swells and closes with a delicate, glitchy skrim of found sound. It might be presumptuous of me to suggest that this collection was created by Mr Cave specifically with 12k in mind, or maybe he has simply discovered a niche that suits the label’s general remit. More encouragingly though, tracks like “Untitled” or “For Sine and Breath Tones” would suggest that Cave also has the imagination and maturity to explore, exploit, and experiment with a slightly wider pallette, and this I look forward to very much on subsequent releases.

Once again, we are treated to a fine debut from a promising artist, who has produced a mature, and engaging slice of near-minimalism that for the most part connects at the right level, and further secures 12k as one of the most prominent and ground breaking minimalist labels in the world at this time.

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