VARIOUS ARTISTS – Escardrone

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The impossible to pronounce label is nothing but the inventive denomination hiding the persona of Josh Ronsen, he of the ever-revered Monk Mink Pink Punk, a magazine born in 1994 (chapeau!) and devoted to unconventional arts. For the occasion, Ronsen collected 41 brief pieces by artists who have collaborated with him in the past in one way or another. Names? Click the above link, I’m too beat up to pick out a list of representatives.

In addition to the humanitarian function of this release (which you will be able to discover for yourselves), what it is important to note is the equivalence between the immoderate variability of the tracks on offer and the quality (mostly very good) distinguishing the music they comprise. I’m not the lone writer detesting the task of reviewing releases belonging to the “VV. AA.” category. Still, there are exceptions: Escardrone is unquestionably one of them.

Thus, a prominent chunk of time is spent amidst acoustic impressions that don’t last enough to leave a trace in the memory, but nevertheless work rather consistently at selected levels of perception. The contestants have done a fine job of synthesis, putting in there sixty essential seconds of vibrational matter filtered by equally diverse “styles”. There’s a bit of everything: scents from outer space, throbbing drones, remote plink-plonking, field recordings, pseudo-turntablism, shortwave-induced obnubilation, obsessive arcoing, sudden bursts of noise, pre-bombing quietness, vocal wailing, post-industrial aromas, post-Roedelius electronic vignettes, post-La Monte Young micro-mantras. Even a little raspberry sonata. Plus whatever else an absorbed mind may conjure up.

The short duration of the small gems is somehow balanced by two longer compositions by Ronsen himself, closing the program at fifteen minutes each and created using the miniatures as source material. Like the preceding snippets, they give a chance to test the discriminating receptors of one’s being in unusual conditions. If you consciously decide to focus on the subatomic components, fasten your seat belts and forget about any theory of classification. These are sounds with a purpose, though nobody – including their creators – know what the real purpose is. The advice from here: download the files and play them in “shuffle/repeat” mode. Disappointment is not an option.

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