Music for Listening To

Music for Listening To

Various Artists

Bubble Core

Bubble Core has proven itself to be an increasingly intriguing label. I remember the first comp coming in and thinking that it had its moments, but the label has gone steadily upwards in quality in the time since. Music for Listening To was originally intended to be a compilation of previous vinyl-only releases as a way to keep things in print. Three tracks fulfill that original goal [~] the sold out Rex seven inch is included in all its twangy, spacious beauty, as is Kirsten McCord’s atmospheric interpretation of Hank Williams’ “Baby We’re Really in Love.” Velma contribute a track that apparently appeared on the Cyclique album on Emperor Norton, but it’s new to me. Sweet tones are accented by subtle rhythms with male and female spoken/crooned vocals and the occasional scattered manic beat sliding in here and there. Mice Parade’s “Galieleo” was one of my favorites from Ramda, with its dense percussion and layered guitar picking building nicely. Everything else on here is previously unreleased.

Matmos weaves an intelligent journey with looped sounds and beats, turning the incidental to vibrant. Things are carefully allowed the right amount of freedom to build and mutate. Dots Will Echo is another marvelous surprise with their dense layers filled with what sounds like struck tones. Him follows, appropriately enough, with vibraphone splendor, light drums, trumpet, and interesting dub effects towards the end. I’m really looking forward to them venturing down this way in September after hearing this!

Adam Pierce takes a more straightforward approach than he normally does under the Mice Parade moniker, which is I’m guessing why he chose to just list “Amends (The Rock Epic)” under just his name. For the most part it’s an acoustic song with drums, bass and keys of some sort and comes off as a ballad of sorts. Pretty straightforward until the layered percussion makes a slight appearance towards the middle and things lash out in climax at the end. Clutch Mountain Boys is perhaps the most curious track on here if only due to its seeming out of place. Banjo, guitar, bass, and multiple vocal harmonies provide a bluegrass song called “The Farmer’s Girl.” A great note to end things on.

Bubblecore Records, 100 Shore Drive, Port Chester, NY 10573; http://www.bubblecore.com

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