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Friday, Mar 23 2001 | 13:58

Spectrum Works is proud to release a compilation pioneering a new style, attitude and production technique based on one of the oldest “genres” around.
“Folky- Acoustic Music In Digital Times” is closing the cycle of roughly 20 years of sample based music, catering for the needs of the ear of the DJ as well as your average Joe. Produced with the knowledge of hip hop, house, techno, drum ‘n bass, etc. the listener is captured in a world of equally treated genres to create the stripped down version of what used to be called “Guitar”- or “Folk”-music. Lars Vegas, record collector par excellence and 50% of Karma, dug all the way into his dusty crates and came up with a selection of tunes and artists suited just perfect to communicate his idea of “Modern Folk” to the listener.

Release date: someday in may


The Touchables – A Soft Situation

Even the sternest Powerbook glitch-hound has a Nick Drake album somewhere in their collection. And even the most fanatical loop digga likes to bring out a Mark Hollis CD on occasion. Historically speaking though, dance music scenes have largely downplayed melody in favour of rhythmic imperatives, with the delicious result that melody has become a guilty pleasure and a rich terrain for the 2K1 producer. If you’ve trained your powers of listening into syncopated consciousness, if you’ve really immersed yourself in the secret life of machinic rhythm, then the melodic guitar streams of Leif and Ray Barbee and the dolorous bass descents of Folke Jensen will come, not as a shock but as a relief.

Producers like Barbee and Jensen emit a mood that the late 60s heavy rockers MC5 termed resensification the process of resensitizing your perceptions-reacquainting yourself with emotions you relegated, touching base with feelings you demoted long ago.
Taste Adjustment = Perception Finessing = Value Realignment = Identity Osmosis = the lifeshort process of learning to feel differently. MC5 were talking about very loud music but you can hear how the loud quietness of Les Gammas’ bright hi hat fills and Le Mans’ rapid ripple guitars are resensifying you. Their tones are sustaining you. Becoming Balm.
Nearly, but not quite becoming comfort music, the audio equivalent of comfort food you always craved but could never find.

Only the fiercest technophiliac could recoil from the sense of wellbeing embracing you through these grooves. The way they’re sequenced to encourage you to breathe.
Out. And In. Partly, that stems from the sense of renunciation, from hearing all the things the music doesn’t do. There’s a voluntary simplicity in G-litter’s excitable stroll, Scuba’s Gainsbourgesque monologue and Rainer Winter’s pared back pizzicato, a sense of life edited down to emotional (un)certainties, a mood of inclusive introspection.
The sensibility here is singular – think Domestica rather than Exotica. Think of these songs as themes for a New Domesticity. Music for a soft situation. Today, the 24 hour cities of the networked world are polarizing along lines of time rich and time poor, time masters and time slaves. In these unstable conditions, the changing sameness of domestic rituals, special routines, the beauty of known things becomes valuable, affirming.
So a music that evokes care, kindness, friendship, shelter, becomes necessary for wellbeing. Tonal miniatures conjure warm kitchens on winter mornings. These sounds bring to mind comfort and calm within the hard edges of the outside world.
Zero 7 thread grooves into melodically rhythmic wreaths which wrap your heart in warmth while Victor Davies’ close miked guitar and Otto Lamani’s quiet/loud latin dynamics draw you in, connecting you with your physical self. This connection happens through the fingers-on feel of the New Domesticity; the way the music conjures up manual sensations of tactility, the palpable, the touchable. The drums lay back in the cut. They feel played even, especially, when they’re looped. Everything grooves but not like The Meters or Pentangle or Air or John Fahey. Not really.

Melody streams ahead, leads from the front as rhythmic momentum. Fingers slide across stringlines, launching rapid guitariverrrruns. Eschewing the thrills of breakbeat and vocal science, the music here is arranged. Orchestrated in the tradition of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Roy Budd’s The Black Windmill and Quincy Jones’ The Anderson Tapes but scaled down to give a sense of home made intimacy, of close up immensity glimpsed between the changes. The bridge, the chord switch, the refrain, the entroduction; the sensory movement within and between these songs constitutes an architecture of mood that allows you to experience maximum emotion in minimum time. To live an adventure of sounds which resolves, rounds up and satisfies. Which grows emotions, grows feelings forgotten and unknown.

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