Label: Cotton Goods, Cotton Goods, Cotton Goods
Catalog#: 001 SP, 002 SP, 003 SP
Format: 3 x CDr, Mini, Single
Released: 18 Jun 2009
Style: Experimental, Ambient
Box Set containing three singles by Sub Loam. One track per CDr. Each CDr has a seperate catalogue number though they were released in this Box Set format only. Each CDr in a seperate hand made envelope fashioned from pages of old books. The whole thing packaged in a cardboard microfilm case, with a string tied archive strip around it.
CD1 Ohr Part 1 Nettle Mix
CD2 Ohr Part 2 Overgrown Path
CD3 Ohr Part 3 Stones, Sunlight, Morning
When writing about releases on Craig Tattersall's lovingly handcrafted Cotton Goods label it's always a temptation to start going on about the packaging first, and this new triple disc set from the mysterious Sub Loam proves to be especially alluring in that department. You'll find the three 3" CDs collectively housed inside a sturdy microfilm box, with each one therein individually slotted into envelopes made from old books, embossed with the Cotton Goods Ltd stamp. And of course everything's hand-numbered, with just 100 copies in circulation. It's a lovely and outlandishly elaborate item, so let's hope we find that the music has been similarly laboured over once we've prized it from its housing. The first disc in the Ohr triptych ('Nettle Mix') initiates us into a world of flickering delays and tape reel manipulations - a billowing soundscape littered with analogue recording artifacts, Radiophonic effects sweeps and overloaded space echo. The vintage feel is perfectly in tune with the recovered, antique feel to the presentation, and it's carried over onto the next disc (titled 'Overgrown Path') which features fragments of grainy chords and hiss-saturated background noises. Once again, the piece is characterised by the warm repercussions of vintage echo - carving thunderclap sound effects into the background - but there's a more prominent, Basinski-esque melodic element here too. The final disc ('Stones, Sunlight, Morning') is inevitably suggestive of that great buzzword du jour, 'hauntology', offering shadows and reverberations of something that once was, rather than anything tangible. These evolving, ambient echo loops eventually give way to more discernible constituents, and the sound of the elements consumes the final few minutes: gusts of wind and watery field recordings draw the disc to a close, leaving you with the same sense of mystery and puzzlement you probably had when you entered into all this. The discs played in sequence make for a beautiful, tape-spun sound cycle, but as an alternative serving suggestion, you could probably fashion yourself a rather wonderful Zaireeka-style multichannel listening experience by rigging the discs to all play simultaneously. However you choose to digest it, Ohr is clearly a very special release in all departments, act fast if you want one as these babies just never last very long...
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