ST001 « an introduction to » by VARIOUS ARTISTS

David Teboul, founder of Soft Recordings, has curated a collection of sonic gems from such luminaries as Darren Harper, Sima Kim, Bengalfuel, and others. These dozen tracks reveal a broad spectrum of drone, ambient, experimental, and noise music, with a sprinkling of modern classical.

Each song in the compilation flows into the next. Throbbing melodies, low vibrations, and distorted strings blur, thickening into gritty choirs. The crunch and muted crackle of densely layered tape. Growling, scratchy textures. Despite their differences in styles and backgrounds, the artists’ individual works share mood and vision: songs full of longing and half-remembered dreams. Kevin Verwijmeren’s opening lush chords, swelling and fading. Leonardo Rosado uses bursts of static to form broken percussive sequences, balanced by the focused formlessness of Saito Koji’s fuzzed hum toward the end of the record. Radere’s liquid field recordings segue into Kissy Suzuki’s warm atmospheric pads. Linear Bells and Endless Melancholy each blend dissonant, atonal structures with sparse, lovely piano melodies. Lost Trail’s insistent guitar arpeggios run in counterpoint to the glitched feedback loops of Monolyth & Cobalt.

« An Introduction to Soft » is an evening spent in a mountainside cabin, listening to the storm shake the trees in the darkness. Inside, all is still, hushed, waiting. The fervent glow of firelight, bright against frosted windows.

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