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Orange Twin Field Works Volume 1

Orange Twin Field Works
Volume 1
(Orange Twin)

Although I generally enjoy the hell out of 'the current state of music,' there are some days when I simply can't stomach it. All the guitars, beats, digitally-processed sound, and everything else about modern (and when I speak of modern, I mean the past 50 years of music) music simply doesn't do much for me. It's at these times that I'm glad like this release of field works on the Orange Twin recording label exist. This is music so far removed from what I usually listen to that it honestly not only gives me something completely new to listen to, but makes me realize that in addition to the plethora of recorded music that I'll never hear, there is literally an infinite amount of music that goes unrecorded in this world that I'll never hear as well.

Before I go too much further, I guess I should explain that this particular batch of music and song was recorded at the Koprivshtitsa Festival in Bulgaria during the year 2000. Blended together into a single track that runs just a smidge under 35 minutes long, it works well as an overall document of it and all the surroundings. There are instrumental-only songs with layered flutes and hand-clapped percussion, there are lovely, vocal tracks sung in a language that I don't understand (but don't really need to) backed by tribal-sounding percussion and there are vocal-only tracks which soar despite the limitations of the recording equipment. Incidental tracks float by, and on different occassions you can hear people milling about, clapping after a performance, wind chimes, the honking of car horns, and even animal sounds. It really is a document of another place and not only their music, but life as well.

The curator for the collection (recorded and edited by) is none other than the rather reclusive Jeff Magnum of Neutral Milk Hotel. After his amazing In An Aeroplane Over The Sea release many years ago, he seemingly drifted off into his own little world, working on odd collections of as-of-yet unreleased sound collage work, but managing to frustrate the hoards looking for another Neutral Milk Hotel release from him. Although he isn't releasing music by his own hand, though, I for one am happy that he's brought a music that I would have probably never otherwise heard and released it through his new cooperative label. Much like the limited-edition bonus disc of Indonesian field-recordings that Macha released with some copies of their self-titled debut release, it's music that is so far removed from what is released in the United States that it's refreshing for that simple fact alone. When everything else gets to be too much (or too little), it's good to soak in and drift halfway around the world. Here's to hoping there's a volume 2...

Rating: 7.5