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Review: Douglas Quin – Fathom by Jayson
May 26, 2010, 9:40 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , , , , ,

I almost felt like I shouldn’t review this. Field recordings are not really my thing, nor are they really music. Still when Taiga Records announced this, I was anxious to order. Given the strength of the packaging and the exotic locations of the recordings, I thought this would be a worthwhile purchase.

This was an interesting listening experience for me. As a minimally edited field recording, Fathom compares very well to  the other experimental ambient music that I have reviewed here and enjoyed. For me a lot of ambient music has a distinct property of location. I tend to hear a lot of it as soundscapes from somewhere other; evocative of a place and state of mind.  This is a big part of why Fathom works so well for me in comparison to music. Recordings made underwater in the Arctic and Antarctic are as far from familiarity as it is possible to achieve on this planet.

Compared to the majority of field recordings I’ve heard, Fathom is much more interesting and engaging. I am not nearly as interested in or engaged by recordings of street sounds, birds chirping or the wind; that’s all stuff I know too well to care about hearing a recording of.

Taiga Records continues to really impress. The album sleeve for Fathom is printed with a combination of silkscreen and debossing. Included is another sheet describing precisely what is recording, in an envelope that has details about the recording; all printed with the same techniques. Taiga Records understand the value of the physical format. A package like this transforms the recording medium from merely an interface layer between sound and my ears to something that is a parallel experience to listening to the records. Taiga has made me appreciate vinyl on a level that I haven’t at any previous point in time.

This was a worthwhile purchase.

Douglas Quin – Fathom is out now on Taiga Records.

– Jayson


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