Thursday, February 2, 2012
Area C - Map of Circular Thought
It feels like Australia's Preservation label more-or-less owned 2011, from what I can tell, because all last year I kept stumbling into their idiosyncratic album covers, everywhere seemingly, followed by some someone generously endorsing whatever Preservation artist it was that was on display (this being particularly prominent during list-making season). I can see why now. At random this past fall I met Erik Carlson. Carlson was curating an art exhibit that Erin and I were very lucky to be a part of and, in the course of working with him on that project, he casually mentioned that he made music as well. He didn't mention that he made really really good music. Or that his most recent album, Map of Circular Thought, was released by Preservation (well, eventually he did). And it's really great. As Area C, Carlson's composed a series of expansive and utterly hypnotic treasures: minimalist, texture-focused pieces that build upon a mesmerizing, almost subconscious sense of rhythm and progression. The album is rich with minuscule details that scrape away softly, elevating the looping and droning into a perfect headspace. It's a welcoming thing to hear such wonderful, beautiful and unique sounds being created in the place where one lives (especially for newbies like us). It's a testament too, I think, to Preservation, that their curatorial eye sees as far as Providence, Rhode Island. By the strength of this record, I'll definitely be much more attentive to Area C and Preservation, both.