Title: Songbook Sines
Artist: Avoidant
Release Date: 13 October 2013
Genre: Ambient / Minimal
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Etched Traumas

Another release that is pointed to the bottom of the dynamic recording range.  Only, there is a bit of a difference with this recording: there is just enough of a signal that it is possible to listen to it without headphones or earbuds.  But, I still wouldn’t try to listen to this recording in your car.  At best you won’t hear a whole lot of it, at worst you might think you have some kind of mechanical issue.

If you couldn’t tell already that I am a bit more positive about this recording versus the Udarniy zeH recording from a few days ago, I’ll state it here and now: I do like this release a bit better.  Not a whole lot better, but enough to give it a slightly higher ranking.  Why?  Well, let’s talk a bit about this recording, and it’s concept.

This is a very minimal ambient recording.  There are some sounds that you might consider to be drone-ish in nature.  But, those drones serve a totally different purpose in this context.  Think more of the early ambient works of Aphex Twin.  The kind of ambient recordings where it takes a sparingly few sounds and juxtaposes them against each other.  The objective is to find patterns in the juxtaposition of the sounds.  In this particular case, Avoidant is relying on the differing frequencies of sine waves to achieve this pattern engagement.

And, that alone makes the recordings a bit more interesting.  It’s similar to something that has been done before, but these recordings have their own structure and style.  I find that I can immerse myself in them, and feel like there is something happening, and I don’t need to go to an extreme to understand what is happening in these recordings.

However, that being said, there are still downsides to these recordings.

First, the kinds of rhythms and patterns that evolve in these pieces are not all that conducive to my listening and/or work style.

Second, the sound levels.  Yes, I said that it is better in this recording than the previously reviewed recording.  But not by a whole lot, just enough that if I am sitting at my desk, listening on my studio monitors it is passable.  Definitely not something that I am going to reach for on a regular basis.

Third, matter of preference in terms of the subject matter.  Yes, the concept is interesting, even intriguing.  But again, it’s not the kind of work that I find I will want to seek out on a regular basis.  It’s just not that interesting.  It’s interesting in a more academic way than in a regular listening way.

And that, I think, summarizes how I feel about this recording: it is an interesting concept, and is more listenable (both technically and sound wise) than the Udarniy zeH recording.  But, that listening is more of the academic style of listening, not the average day-to-day listening that I get from other recordings.

However, it does occur to me that both this recording and the Udarniy zeH recording have an application that I haven’t tried yet: going to sleep.  They would likely be excellent candidates for lulling me into a deep deep sleep, just enough sound for my mind to fix onto and induce the right rhythms for a deep, refreshing sleep.

Avoidant: Songbook Sines

7.5

Rating

7.5/10
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Posted by George De Bruin