Boomkat Product Review:
The Room40 label is currently enjoying a flurry of activity and they've certainly got a long history of top quality compilations. This latest one commemorates the eight year run of performances at the Fabrique events based at the Brisbane Powerhouse, bringing together Australia's finest electronic musicians and a more global base of artists, including David Grubbs, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Robert Henke, KK Null and Andrew Pekler, each supplying an exclusive track or live recording for this album. Of course, the established Room40 roster make their presence felt with key contributions from label regulars like Janek Schaefer, DJ Olive (here alongside I/O3) and Tujiko Noriko. On loan from 12k, Fourcolor and Seaworthy make key entries, both embarking on exquisite tonal explorations that have as much to do with the timbres of the electric guitar as they do microsound-style laptop editing. It's surely telling of the event's atmosphere that so many of these compositions seem to be derived from the same sort of creative impetus, with a widespread emphasis on tactile, close-up electroacoustics and impeccable drones. From Schaefer's seven-minute field recording collage to Pekler's sample layering treatments there's a persistent subtley and sophistication to these pieces that instils a great depth in the compilation as a whole. The level of craft that's gone into Robert Henke's arresting seventy-second soundscape 'Hommage_17' illustrates this perfectly; despite being so brief there's a Hecker-like artfulness to its digital sound-bending and the range of frequencies on show covers more ground than a dozen lazy drone artists would over the course of a career. Terrific stuff from Room40, managing to get the most out of the compilations starry list of contributors.