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- The Ear That Was Sold To A Fish by Keith Berry
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This double set from Infraction is going to turn heads for those who like something a little more majestic from their ambient music or the densely populated world of modern sound artists. 'The Ear That was Sold to a Fish' was originally released on Crouton six years ago and has since become a cult classic of the "genre", whatever that may be! Listening to this closely accompanying my morning brew I can see why it's considered a bit of a milestone. Taking the almost foreboding & isolationist sound-world you'd equate with some of Thomas Koner's best work, Berry adds intriguing layers of rumbling, snuffling exploratory scrunch to many of the stately pieces. There's powerful sampling of evocative plucked strings which adds a ponderous vibe to a subsequent number or two and investigating even further he proves himself to be an undoubted don of textural manipulation and atmosphere building. It's a deep sonic world this music inhabits. Dark & faintly ominous tones glide & envelop your mind whilst submerging you into an unsettling field of uncertainty. There's an aura of desolation to some passages but you're always left feeling rather excited by what's in store, like you've landed somewhere alien yet unimaginably intriguing, like being stood in an icy cavern crackling with untold secrets. The extra CD of unreleased material in this set displays an almost chamber-like classical grace - two beautiful, deep long movements instead of the numerous insanely titled pieces of '...fish'. He definitely takes his time over his work with years between each release and '...fish' has been an out-of-print collectors item for a while now. See what all the fuss is about, you know Infraction is one of the world's finest ambient stables so you should really consider adding this profoundly dense & affecting work to your library.
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