Various Artists

Electroshock Presents Electroacoustic Music, Vol. 8

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Volume eight in Electroshock's compilation series is good but not stellar. Once again it culls recent electroacoustic compositions from American, Canadian, European and Israeli artists. Claire Laronde and Robin Julian Heifetz have become regulars of the series, but this time around their contributions are nothing special. Laronde's "Matiers [sic] de Piano I" deconstructs piano samples in a common way, while Heifetz's "Slings & Arrows II" unleashes a violent, chaotic swarm of sounds. The big surprise of this set appears right at the start; Lisa Walker's "Transients" is a beautiful electroacoustic piece that borrows from the post-rock ethos (long string chords softly ringing in the distance). Milica Paranosic's four-part "Lulla" and Jukka Ruohomaki's "Neuromancer Suite" provide highlights, mostly thanks to the balance they strike between melody and experimental architecture (a standard in Electroshock's productions). Hugh LeCaine composed a whole piece of music from a single drop of water falling into a bucket back in 1955 (it's called "Dripsody"). Keep that in mind while listening to Gary Di Bendetto's "A Drop in the Bucket," a piece that updates the technology used without adding anything new. Chaos As Shelter, from Israel, concludes the set with "Death of Bellflower," a strange post-Industrial piece based on church bell sounds and screechy noisemakers. Like most of the previous volumes in the series, number 8 offers a mixed grill of styles and quality.

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