VA - An Introduction To (Soft) (2014)

VA - An Introduction To (Soft) (2014)

Artist: VA
Title Of Album: An Introduction To (Soft)
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Soft Recordings
Genre: Electronic, Ambient, Neo-Classical
Quality: Mp3
Bitrate: 234 kbps avg
Total Time: 64:07 Min
Total Size: 114 Mb
1.Kevin Verwijmeren - Scenery For A Hallway (6:57)
2.Leonardo Rosado - Sub Pulse Zero One (4:14)
3.Monolyth & Cobalt - A Winter Breath (Inhale) (4:31)
4.Darren Harper - A Winter's Path (7:14)
5.Linear Bells - Few Steps Away (6:02)
6.Endless Melancholy - Broken (4:27)
7.Sima Kim - 24-25 (5:57)
8.Lost Trail - Netherworld (6:04)
9.Kissy Suzuki - Port Green (3:10)
10.Saito Koji - Bells (3:02)
11.Bengalfuel - Sofia (5:26)
Soft Recordings is a newly founded French ambient label from David Teboul. An introduction To represents Soft’s first curated volume—a cabinet of curiosities and ambience that, despite the individual musician’s differing techniques and aesthetics, is a coherent and compelling curation that shines promise on future releases from the label.
True to its name, the individual track—sculptures in sound and texture—are lo-fi and dreamy excursions of loops and static drone, of the echoing twanged strings and rising sibilance of piano keys. Each of the twelve tracks—which runs as a whole to a languorous yet tense 64 minutes—blends organically into one another, seeking out and finding shared tones and textures. Whether the pieces are in loose sonic vibrations or the occasional grating of static drawl, the surfacing of field recordings or the clarity of neo-classical strings.
Kevin Verwijmeren’s “scenery for a hallway” begins the volume with its plaintive and mellow ambient spaces, of ebbing and poignant loose strings that rise and fall with the motion of waves. This theme is taken up in a darker imagination with “broken” by Endless Melancholy, whose loose, wheezing strings and harmonic synths weave and warp around one another in a lulling dronescape of atonality and harmony.
Saito Koji’s tightly echoing and warped strings—seeming to spin tightly—blend away into a silence, while Kissy Suzuki makes lulling and wavering use of heavy tonal structures that, in their harmonic resonances, give the impression again of openness and space that had been introduced in the very first track. As you listen to the curation, you are drawn toward the interlocking themes of space and intimacy, of largeness and smallness. The entire album is a thoughtfully and constantly, pleasantly surprising reminder of the structures and imaginations that such sounds, harmonies and noises can have when blended meaningfully together, reflecting from one another as if in conversation. And while there is this contrapuntal theme running, shifting through the tracks, they also represent a huge and adroit range—from gritty, scratching textures, to field recordings, large wavering synths, and loops that erode away into formless drone. Darren Harper’s “a winter’s path” makes haunting and thoughtful use of scratched tape textures and echoing keys to produce a mesmerising track that creates a lasting tonal impression on the mind. Radere’s “respirator” draws us back to the organic world from that of tape burr and buzz, with its field recordings of wind, crunching footfalls, and falling, rhythmic water. The emergence of an atonal, loose drone from a crisp combination of these recordings—and their subsequent disappearance beneath it—show how closely and cleverly aligned the natural and the artificial can be. When a distant, echoing harmony rises against this atonality we sense that this—somehow, perhaps—is the re-emergence of the natural, painting in beautiful and considered lines the contrapuntal structures that underpin the volume as a whole.
An Introduction To is remarkable not simply for its range, but for the way that David Teboul has brought these different compositional voices together to produce something that is in conversation with itself. It speaks highly of the thought and consideration that has gone into curating this introduction, and promises good things for the label’s future releases.
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