The low down
I only recognised a handful of the names from curator Emanuele Pertoldi’s (AKA Shaded Explorer) latest compilation “Soundscapes For Escape Vol 3”, but I imagine being able to get tracks from ASC amongst others will help people to notice this one (I can’t lie – it’s what piqued my interest).
Released on his Shaded Explorations label, it’s basically a big ol’ collection of ambient and dub-techno artists doing what they do best. Ambient and dub-techno.
I don’t know if it’s breaking any wild boundaries for me, but it certainly lives up to it’s name. This is exactly the sort of music that I use for concentration and often hit an almost zen-like state of meditational focus when I’m blasting this through my cans at work.
I’d stand behind the compilation as a lovely example of modern ambient and one or two of the tracks are the sort of thing I’d play to my girlfriend if she asked me “what’s drone music?”.
I’m a little loathe to the “field recording” side of this genre, just because for me it’s almost always just a random noise recording from outside, filtered to within an inch of it’s life and layered over the top of some evolving chords and pads. Nothing wrong with that per-say, but it’s hardly an immersive transportation to wherever you recorded it. It’s merely an element of the creative process
The variation on this compilation is both a blessing and a curse for Pertoldi. For sure, it showcases a range of styles within the ambient and experimental end of the spectrum here, but because of that very range, it makes for a slightly disjointed listening experience, and you’re likely to end up finding a few tracks that you jump past which for me takes away from the beauty of what this sort of music is all about – the flow, the journey that meditative listening experience.
For me, the stand-out track from the first-half of the album are definitely curator Shaded Explorer’s collaboration with Manljus and then towards the end of the compilation the track from “Orchid” from Feral, Luigi Tozzi and Ntogn hits the mark as well as the undeniably talented ASC who stays true-to-form with his “grey area” style rhythmic exploration into ambience “Apsis”.
Overall, this isn’t a ground-breaking compilation, but it’s a good one. Of course, it’s going to be available on cassette, like any well-respected digital music producer should be these days. What is a slowly-evolving ambient track with layers of noise if you can’t play it from a dying medium and pretend that it adds something to the listening experience? ;)