Derek McArthur: piano “and a few other things”
Semi-tranquil piano-derived substance (and a couple of secondary twists, such as the short closing track in which the composer whispers spookily) for this offer by Derek McArthur, whose melancholic illustrations might be rewarded by the care of variously clothed ambient fans given the close affinity with the likes of Eno, Basinski circa A Red Score In Tile and – if you will – Asher. Unambiguous melodic designs – minimalist, yes – occasionally adorned by a iota of hiss and radio frequencies, now and again playing in reverse, more often generating consonant washes whose coefficient of psychological reflection usually manages to fend off staleness. Nothing that we haven’t heard before, of course, but UUUUUU does not aspire to impersonating someone who reinvented the wheel. This works fine as an environmental counterpart to silence, although headphones (and a darkened room) are recommended by the artist for better results. Among the hundreds of releases in this jam-packed land, this is one of the few that didn’t rile my ears.