Quiet yet forceful, soft yet sudden, the collection of sound artist Philip Samartzis' early work is a complex palate of soundscaped experience. Residue is a vision of the known made unfamiliar and the obvious made sublime, as field recorded materials fade in and out between layers of electronic acoustica. Quiet recordings of small sounds and broken vocals give way suddenly to deep, full walls of noise, while at other times the haunting conversations play through thin, windy analog sweeps. At times, rhythms are present, but these suddenly break down and the sonic narrative is reduced to a resonating formlessness. These are the kinds of experiences and moods documented in Residue. The dance between elements of Residue is subtle. Some sounds are only present while listening actively, and it is difficult to determine whether many of these sounds were birthed in the field or in the studio. This interplay grounds Residue, giving it a sense of transient place and an organic feel where often electronic music has none. Also, while the machines are clearly not the motivating factor of Residue, they play a role so central that each composition is more than a mere selection of recorded sounds played to an ambient soundtrack. Residue does nothing if not well, and the execution matches in all ways the depth of its expression.
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AllMusic Review by Theo Kavadias