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1 review »Regular readers of these pages will be fully aware that the Infraction label has a special place in our hearts. Over the past few years their release schedule has never let us down in terms of consistent high quality "ambient" music. I use the genre tag loosely as the label is so much more than simply an "ambient" label. If you want to escape from the world for an hour or so an ... »

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  • INFX038X
  • INFX038X / Amazing Deluxe LP on Infraction!!

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Aversion Therapy by Drafted by Minotaurs
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9/10 Ant Staff review, 29 May 2009
Regular readers of these pages will be fully aware that the Infraction label has a special place in our hearts. Over the past few years their release schedule has never let us down in terms of consistent high quality "ambient" music. I use the genre tag loosely as the label is so much more than simply an "ambient" label. If you want to escape from the world for an hour or so and go to a better place then dim the lights, pull out pretty much any CD they've put out and you're in the zone... Celer, Beautumn, Milieu, Aidan Baker, Colin Potter, Andrew Liles, Kiln, Northern, Zammuto, Adam Pacione as well as lost classics from the likes of Tetsu Inoue and Parks... The list goes on and now includes Drafted By Minotaurs who's 'Aversion Therapy' album is the labels first ever foray into the magical world of vinyl. There really has been zero compromise as far as the quality of the physical thing is concerned: Heavy duty gatefold sleeve in quality plastic wallet with obi strip and then a fine plastic inner sleeve for maximum protection of the ultra weapons grade heavy vinyl. So clearly a special release and my expectations of the music are high... So what about the audio that lurks within those exceptionally well cut/ pressed grooves... I put the needle to the record and the journey commences. 'Blueprints For Sunbuilding' begins with delicate, gentle twinkles with what sounds like distant pianos and heart-wrenchingly gorgeous strings that give off pure emotion, like everything that's beautiful about life compressed into vibrations. The track has a loose structure but the feeling of warmth just builds throughout with an edge that's almost harrowing. I'm reminded of Max Richter in terms of its emotional impact. Close your eyes and the cycle of life, with all its highs and lows is all in there. A very moving and touching tune if you allow yourself to be absorbed. The brief yet complete 'Sault Locks' builds on the preceding instrumentation giving off a vibe that is almost tropical yet hints at a darker space in time. This vibe is then realized in the third and final cut on the A-side 'Skin The Night and Fog'. The scenario of being lost in a rainforest on a distant island is evoked with the sun setting, as glimpses of its departure beam through the vegetation. An image which is loosley depicted on the sleeve photography yet becomes even more vivid as the track progresses. The feeling of being lost and alone, yet somehow not alone but surrounded by nature. Again this is a very emotional piece of music but rather than sounding more like modern classical stuff as the previous two tracks, it is more traditionally "ambient" sounding with the deeply soothing synths and ever evolving drones. The B-side of the record is dominated by a single piece entitled "Sunday's Morning Ghost". I'm not entirely sure which player is responsible for each part here, but accompanying Ryan Wilson are Ian Fulcher, Colette Alexander, Carol Grey and Susie Pilzinski. This seemingly has them all working in total harmony. Often musicians in rock music are referred to as being "tight" but that term can also be applied here as they seem to know and respect each others parts and this helps to build music that is both sublime and vivid. Much in the same way as Stars Of The Lid. There's space for each sound to make it's statement yet they melt together seamlessly.... After you've made your way through the forest, the tones begin to take on a sense of hope and the promise of sunlight until you find your way home. A very sophisticated work which is a powerful and deeply haunting record. Explore and drift away... Limited to 489 copies and very highly recommended.

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