Sound in Silence

odd nosdam.jpgOperating out of Athens, Greece since 2006, the Sound in Silence label has quietly assembled a strikingly beautiful catalogue of downtempo and ambient releases. Label runner George Mastrokostas has an extraordinary ear.

Four new releases illustrate perfectly the strength of what Mastrokostas is building. No two are alike, and yet there are enough common threads running through these discs that you’d be well-advised to put them together on a playlist.

Odd Nosdam – LIF: Broken down into its various elements, this electronic recording could fairly be described as rough, even harsh at times. Somehow though, the sum of its parts is richly meditative. Loops feature prominently on the 34-minute album, and a good number of the sounds are exquisitely distressed. Released July 28.

Crisopa – Transhumante: Crisopa is Madrid-based Santiago Lizón. His fourth album demonstrates an affection for downtempo electronics, post-rock and shoegaze. There are even new classical elements here, executed beautifully. He’s a credit to each of those genres. The album is emotional, in a kind of M83 way. A gently mixed vocal contribution makes “I Am The Lord Of These Ruins” a real highlight. Released July 28.

Liam J Hennessy – Held: Cocteau Twins fans will relish the Robin Guthrie-esque guitar on this fine six-track release. This is by no means a sound-alike though. Hennessy’s new recording – the first to come out under his own name – is uniquely his. Field recordings and found sounds mix with electronics and the aforementioned guitar. The work is uplifting, but never overreaching. The tempo is bang on. Released June 28.

[.que] – Wonderland: This is Nao Kakimoto’s eighth release. Featuring a mosaic of acoustic instruments, electronics and field recordings, the album has a strong naturalist feel. What makes this unique from other environmentalist ambient recordings is Kakimoto’s pop sensibility. This is an extraordinarily easy listen, without a hint of sentimentality. Gorgeous. Released June 28.

Kevin Press

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