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Review: 'Test Card: Patterns / JARR: Talking About X'
'Sound In Silence presents...'   

-  Label: 'Sound In Silence'
-  Genre: 'Post-Rock' -  Release Date: '15th April 2022'

Our Rating:
Athens-based label Sound in Silence describes itself as ‘a boutique record label, focused on limited edition releases presented in collectible handmade packaging with beautiful cover designs.’ This very much seems to be the operating model for independent labels now: with the mainstream an unobtainable (and perhaps, for many, an undesirable) goal, the focus is increasingly on producing releases of quality for niche audiences. These two new releases, both launched on April 15th in limited editions of handmade and hand-numbered collectible copies are exemplary, with Test Card’s ‘Patterns’ being released in a run of 200 hand-numbered copies, and the JARR album being released with 200 ‘standard’ handmade and hand-numbered CD-R and 100 ‘deluxe’ hand-stamped, hand-numbered CD-R.

Test Card is the solo project of Lee Nicholson, based in Vancouver, Canada, and if the very idea of a test card is now somewhat historical and anachronistic, then it’s appropriate for the music. ‘Patterns’ is wistful, delicate, with some nice, strolling bass underpinning some expansive soundscapes – and some organ work that’s straight off The Doors. Elsewhere, the spacious, space-age synth blips echo and reverberate with hints of vintage krautrock: ‘The Stockbridge Damper’ smooches in by stealth and there are some smooth grooves on offer here, as well as some dappled acoustic guitar instrumental work. ‘Patterns’ is ever-changing, ever-shifting, a kaleidoscopic suite with a sunshine shimmer, and it’s a pleasure to sit back and let it ripple around you.

‘Talking about X’ is, we learn, ‘is a collaborative ambient/post-rock project between British ambient guitarists Yellow6 and Wodwo’. It’s their second album together, and it’s a glorious work of soft, mellow ambience that’s bursting with luscious textures and so much depth and movement. The tiles, all of which begin ‘The One Who…’ reminds me of ‘Friends’, but I suspect this couldn’t be further from their intentions, and that this is more about giving the individual pieces which form this body of work a more overt sense of unity. There’s a sense of reflection and reminiscence threaded throughout, as they contemplate ‘The One Who Ghosted You’; ‘The One Who Was Terrified of cats’; ‘The One Whose Sister Died’. These pieces, with their titles, remind us that however much impact anyone makes on a life, for the most part, anyone is just passing through, an extra in the film of your life. But never forget, that while you will always play your own central role, you, in return, are simply an extra in the lives of everyone you will ever know. And this is the soundtrack.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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