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black to comm - Alphabet 1968
*For us, without question, one of the standout drone/death-ambient albums of the year - full of haunted loops, half-remembered lullabies and layered embers of sound - a must!* One of the most brilliant artists to emerge from the steadily swelling drone/psyche spectrum of the latter half of this decade must be Black To Comm. After amassing a highly regarded set of recordings for his own equally awesome Dekorder label and a celebrated release for Digitalis, Marc Richter deposits one of his most concise compositions yet upon the Type label. 'Alphabet 1968' has been in gestation for a little while now, causing ripples of hushed excitement in this office as the realisation grew that Marc had accomplished one of the most diverse, darkly magical and absorbing albums of his career so far. Precedents for the Black To Comm sound stretch from Charlemagne Palestine to Growing and Steve Reich, but anyone who has experienced his sound would merely confirm these as reference points, as the artists share guiding principles of drone, esoteric psychedelia and classical structures. What separates Marc, here with some help from Joana Baranka and Renate Nikolauf, is the fractally overlapping effect he creates, unpredictably strafing between textures and blocks of sound with mystifying mixing techniques, and especially with 'Alphabet 1968' the intensity, pace and boldness of these sweeping transportations, creating atmospheric pressures sharp enough to give lesser experienced divers the bends. From a list of potent ingredients - vinyl & Shellac loops, metal percussion, shortwave radio, Argeiphontes Lyre, kitchen gamelan and the Glockenspiel native to his Black Forest and Hamburg home, Black to Comm conjures a trip as riveting as a Hans Christian Anderson tale, while as disorientatingly psychedelic as being lost in a twilight forest scene with a handful of 2ci for company. Incredible.