Monday, February 01, 2010

50 Cent Albums: "Buoy", "Sleep" and "Triage" by DJ Olive

three complete albums (61:10, 48:00, 59:39)
available here, here, here

To make up for two previous entries that were single tracks, today I present three full albums -- a balancing of the books if you will.

Gregor Asch is one of those artists equally at home performing at the Whitney Museum, Pompidou Centre or a rave club somewhere. He's started labels and worked with Luc Ferrari (on an unreleased project), which is how I came across him. Somewhere along the line he coined the genre "illbient", which is maybe where one can file this trio of releases for Australia's Room40 label.

"Buoy" (2004), "Sleep" (2006) and "Triage" (2008) are designed as "sleeping pills" but are significantly more interesting than most ambient music. First of all, they never stay the same. Every ten minutes or less a distinctly different section of music appears; these changes might indeed be too distinctive for ambient purists. Other artists might have broken the albums up into named tracks.

Secondly, Asch utilises a great variety of sound sources, from trombone to guitar to location recordings to who knows what. The timbres and textures never get too "samey". There's lots of static and drones and bleeps and scratches, just so you know that somewhere behind it is a "DJ", whatever that term means any more. Here's a bit that sounds like a more blissed-out Pole. Here's some mellower Gas. Here's a nod to Fax.

On the other hand, these three releases share a common space and sound, largely through the production. This rounds off the lows and the highs to present a somnolent mid-range free of dynamics. On this cushion one can ride and perhaps, yes, even sleep.


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