birmingham sound matter (CD, £13.25)label: Audiobulb
The lead artist in this project is that great master of abstract electronic music, Francisco Lopez, whose studies of noise, silence and the fabric of recorded sound have been a major presence in the realm of electroacoustic music over the past ten years or so. In this instance Lopez collaborated with a host of regional sound artists, collecting field recordings from around the city, shaping them into streams of decontextualised noise that are typical of Lopez's more challenging brand of microsound. Several of the participants come from an academic background, while others are self-taught, but in all cases the compositional approach eschews the more casual and pastoral tendencies of the genre. There's some great (if confrontational) material on offer: Annie Mahtani's cinematic 'Shadows', Mark Harris' droning 'Last Days' and Lopez's own deep and heavy 'Untitled 225' all prove to be especially rewarding. Recommended." (Boomkat) More contributions by Helena Gough, Martin Clarke, Bobby Bird, Cormac Faulkner and Nicholas Bullen.
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