Tundra/Captain Campion: Macrofun Vol. 1
Microcosm Music

Miskate/Socks and Sandals: Macrofun Vol. 2
Microcosm Music

The first two volumes in the Macrofun split 10-inch series from NY-based Microcosm initiate the project in fine style. As the series is designed to showcase the label's range, the first outing makes good on that intent by pairing the drum & bass of Tundra (Morgan Packard and Brett Cleaver aka DJ Clever of Troubled Waters fame) with an epic work of ambient beauty from Captain Campion (Morgan Packard and Phil Salathe). Tundra creates a spectral ambiance of soulful sparkle in “Deep Sleep” where maze-like synth patterns etch ominous, querulous melodies alongside drum & bass beats that first simmer and then broil. The ten-minute “In Kind” unfurls meditatively with swirling shimmer eventually joined by jittery beat percolations that extend the song's sweeping panorama and deepen the song's cinematic ambiance. Though the songs couldn't be more stylistically contrasting, both impress as artful constructions.

The second pairing features danceable micro-funk outings from Miskate (Kate Iwanowicz and member of Philadelphia 's Foundsound family) and Socks and Sandals (Sean Smith and Clark ov Saturn). Flavoured with morphing vocal slices and surging wooshes, Miskate's “Daydreaming” is a sweetly whirring, bass-heavy throwdown of strong Perlon vintage while the tech-house outing “Lover” boldly sashays through a tactile field of metallic percussion, insect thrums, voice murmurs, and throbbing bass pulses. Obviously, the contents of Macrofun Vol. 2 offer stronger stylistic unanimity compared to the first.

With future Macrofun installments scheduled to include contributions from Someone Else, Krill.minima, Ezekiel Honig, and others, chances are the series eventually will cover every genre. For now, these initiating volumes do just fine; furthermore, with charming line and colour illustrations adorning the vinyl slabs' sleeves and labels, the distinctive packaging alone justifies the acquisition.

July 2005