Album Review

Small Life Form – “One ” – [Silber Records]

Max Level   4/29/2006   A Library, CD

Seven rich, deep drone pieces of varying lengths by SLF, aka Brian John Mitchell, the man behind the Silber label. The tracks sound to me as though many layers were painstakingly assembled and mixed to get the textures just right. However, we are assured that all pieces were recorded in real time without overdubs, which certainly impresses me. Typically dronelike, each track sticks to one basic note or chord, except #4, a two-note droner that eventually settles down to one. The track titles give clues as to the origins of the sounds (cymbal, organ, horns, etc) though most listeners probably wouldn’t be able to identify, for example, the melodica, which has been processed so that it sounds more like a harmonium. No relaxing ambient background stuff here, not with that sense of tension one can feel under the thick textures. A nice addition to our ever-growing drone library.

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