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White Label

White Label
(Highpoint Lowlife)

The first time that I listened to this release by Recon, it drove me somewhat nutters. To me, it sounded like nothing more than 12 tracks in which one loop was created and then slightly varied over the running length, resulting in maddeningly uneventful pieces of music that simply failed to go much of any place other than their starting point. After giving it several more spins in my player, I've warmed on the release a little, but still feel that it's one of the more lackluster efforts I've heard from Mr. Chris Coode (aka Motion, who has released several excellent things on Fat Cat and 12K) and the Highpoint Lowlife label in general.

One good thing that can be said about the release is that Coode definitely has an ear for picking out loops of sound that contain enough interesting events to run for the duration of a song. On top of these loops, he very subtlely tweaks noise and effects, resulting in some sort of twitchy bizzaro-world of minimal electronic music that basically plays on the listeners ability to discern minute changes in sound and appreciate them. Given that explanation, the release doesn't really sound like much in terms of what's being done, and as mentioned above this isn't a disc that features any large dynamics or dramatic changes.

Throughout 12 tracks, it's basically slight variations on the same formula. "Clear" loops a crackly mechanical sound and piles on subtle variations of noise and other quiet sounds, while "Circle" and "Va/Lov+" sound like they were created from micro-loops of house music and then slowly run through an array of filters to slowly deconstruct each. "Section" is one of the more effective tracks on the release, as the looped section feels like it has some sort of foreboding momentum that will eventually be released at some point (but never is). "Travel Analog" sounds like something you might expect from the ~scape label, all nebulous clouds of sound and static pops and glitches along with some high-frequency ring tones that make it one of the more layered tracks on the release. In the end, this is one of those releases that celebrates the small things, and while it works really amazingly at some points, it just fails to engage in many others.

Rating: 6