Various Artists ~ the opposite of aloof vol. 1

coverThe opposite of aloof is warm, interested, involved.  This premiere release from the Attractive Coincidence (ACR) label makes a fine introduction not only to the London imprint, but to a number of new artists.  Some familiar names (José Soberanes, Strom Noir) provide the entry point, but stick around ~ ACR’s rookies are ready to surprise.  Best of all, these tracks are exclusive, a sign that the label is already capable of casting a wide net.

We’re placing the cassette in our Ambient section as it seems to be the dominant genre, but the compilation ~ and by extension, the label ~ offers works in other fields as well.  Drifts of static abound, as do extended passages of calm (especially in the early going).  The tape work of Nate Scheible makes a lovely start, especially when the lyric-free chorus arrives in “modulus of rupture”.  When the rain falls on Soberanes’ “Too Late to Tell You”, the personal nature of the tape becomes apparent.  One of our hopes, not necessarily for Soberanes, but for the label, is that “pure” field recording works might form part of the output, opening new doors for such artists.  Melquíades and km: seem uniquely poised to enter into this arena, as each blends field recordings into its work.  The birdsong makes km:’s “Balcony”, as the title and tweeting together produce a lovely visual image.

The shift occurs in the 8th track, as Ondrej Zajac steps forth with the first solid segments of abrasion. Again, field recordings form part of the aural picture, in this piece sounding like amplified droplets in an empty parking garage.  That is, until 2:41, when ~ well, let’s just say we hope you weren’t falling asleep to the pretty tracks!  From this point on, the album is happy to delve into feedback, fuzz and experimentalism.  Two long tracks hammer this point home ~ at 13 and 15 minutes, selections from Izanasz and Teapot take their time to develop, but end up in unforeseen places.  The Izanasz track, “Subliminal Storms”, is the loudest and most unpredictable piece here, an exclamation point on the compilation’s title.  We expect full artist albums to follow soon, but for now, we welcome Attractive Coincidence and wish them every success!  (Richard Allen)

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