slow swords

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                                              Fabric - A Sort of Radiance

I picked this album up pretty much on a whim last time I was in the record store. Sure, I knew what it was and all, but hadn’t heard any of it, or Fabric’s music in general. The cover definitely caught my eye (love me some abstract color paintings).

A Sort of Radiance
is one of the two debut releases of the Editions Mego imprint Spectrum Spools, which started up earlier this year and is curated by John Elliott of Emeralds fame. Knowing all that probably gives you a general clue of what to expect from this. Yes, it’s neo-komische, synth-based electronic music (or whatever you want to call it). Yes, it’s drawing on those core German influences that inspire much of the modern movement. What’s key here, however, is that it borrows and appropriates the best of that style, while adding new twists of its own.

I have to be honest, on first listen I wasn’t particularly blown away. The first half, in particular, seemed like a mere retread of what’s been covered quite a bit in the past (and present). Another few listens, however, especially in different environments, helped to change my thoughts. Basically, this is an album for the nighttime. The swirling synth clouds sound perfectly suited to a late night drive alone, with sonic textures to complement minimal lighting along the road. “Orange and Red” is a great opener, with it’s brief stereo spanning sound preparing you for what’s ahead

It’s short run time probably one of the best things about the record too - nothing here runs over eight minutes. No listening to some prog-esque crap, which a lot of music like this can easily turn into. This isn’t overblown in the slightest - everything feels natural and well-placed. The shorter tracks, like “Left” and “Containers”, serve as excellent segues for the longer, more expansive pieces to branch out and suck you into their world.

I still think the second side stands as the stronger half. It kicks off with the excellent “Containers”, which reminds me of cyborg waking up on a particularly bright morning or something. Soft and short held tones, all before “Light Float” comes in and takes you on another long distance cosmic journey. Heavy electronic rhythm makes a nice foundation for synth soundscaping perfect for listening bliss.

Basically, I like it, I like it a lot.

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