Various Artists

Texture: A Compilation of Minimal Ambient Guitar

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For its first release, the ambient label slo bor media concocted a tasty compilation album of "minimal ambient guitar." The expression accurately describes the pieces, all foggy guitar drones that seep through your listening space, ready to be explored or to fade away into the background if you'd rather not. It's all about creating textures (the title again) that remain somewhat comfortable and unchallenging on the surface, but disclose a complex microcosm of sonic interrelations on closer inspection. Jason Sloan (whose solo CD Still became slo bor's second release) opens the set with a dreamy piece that sets the mood. The next tracks vary little in style or aim, and most artists use similar tools (guitar, E-Bow, effects, and digital looping and processing), but some of them, especially Zimiamvian, Matt Borghi, and the duo of Tony Gerber and Rob Jenkins, manage to give their music a distinctive touch. Other contributors include Jeff Pearce, Numina, Michael Kirson-Goldapper, Anomalous Disturbances, and Markus Reuter. Each artist gets more or less six minutes to leave a mark, but the album can be enjoyed as a continuous collective work -- such is the homogeneity among the tracks. Texture is packaged in an elegant digipack with a piece of guitar string used by one of the artists for one of the included tracks taped on the inside -- obviously, it's a limited edition.

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