Arborea Top 10
Mem1 Top 10

Cory Allen
Bio / Larkian / Autistes
Black Swan
James Brewster
C.H. District
Crazy Penis
Robert Crouch
Demdike Stare
Cezary Gapik
Ron Geesin
G. Night & G. Morning
Tim Hecker
Hole Punch Generation
Hopeless Local M. Band
E. De Jesus / Minus Pilots
Saito Koji
Little Fritter
Sam Moss
Dustin O'Halloran
Phillips / Hesse-Honegger
Maceo Plex
Pietro Riparbelli
Daniel Steinberg
Colin Stetson
Subtle Lip Can
Tapage & Meander
Robert Scott Thompson
Simon Whetham

Compilations / Mixes
DJ Bone
Pop Ambient 2011
Silence Was Warm Vol. 3
Superlongevity 5
v-p v-f is v-n

Benoit & Sergio
Mark Bradley
Ragle Gumm
Tevo Howard
Isnaj Dui
Clem Leek
Luv Jam
offthesky & Ten and Tracer
Sleeps In Oysters
Nobuto Suda
Totem Test
Morgan Zarate

Spartak: Version Room
hellosQuare Recordings

Version Room, so named in homage to classic dub recordings, is a seven-track set that finds Spartak's (percussionist Evan Dorrian and Shoeb Ahmad on guitar, computer, vocal, and electronics) debut album Tales From The Colony Room made over by some of their favourite colleagues. With artists associated with 12k (Pillowdiver, Tomasz Bednarczyk) and Room40 (Lawrence English) on hand, the listener knows a little bit of what to expect and isn't disappointed in that regard. Version Room pulls the original material away from its occasionally fiery origins to a field whose stylistic terrain is a tad more uniform and circumscribed, with many of the producers opting for electro-acoustic ambient-drone variations.

Pillowdiver's (René Margraff) “5:44 (3:44 mix)” emphasizes jazzy stream of noirish electric guitar strums and hyperactive cymbal shadings, and that jazz dimension carries over into Cleptoclectics' “Sunstrokes,” which, in contrast to the vocals-and-guitars dominated original, becomes a freely mutating setting of drums and electric piano that calls to mind outfits like Triosk and Soft Machine. Lim-Klumpes' “Station Seven” presents an atmospheric improv of many moods (from turbulent to peaceful in a span of five minutes) centering on the interplay of percussion, electronics, piano, wordless vocals, and guitars, while Lawrence English's “A Crack in the Nation” begins life as a rippling, textural ambient-drone but eventually gets take over by Dorrian whose combustible playing refuses to be contained. In addition, Bednarczyk's “The Bloodletting” focuses on a wavering ambient-drone flow wherein the occasional shudder of guitar bobs to the surface, and Jasper TX ‘s “Night and Day” features seven rumbling minutes of ghostly static, electric guitar swarms, and disembodied voices. While short by CD standards, the thirty-two-minute running time feels just about right for Version Room's cassette presentation.

February 2011