When there’s only a hundred copies, on compact disc no less, you know it’s exclusive. This is more retro than selling 33 tapes with two pennies smashed on railroad tracks. This is the ultimate Reduction & Variant of production, Darren Harper a master at guerilla marketing, blowing holes in the established theorems with a shotgun -- don’t miss it.
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- Reduction & Variant by Darren Harper
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This mysterious little CD from Colorado based producer Darren Harper was so shy that we had to stick a post-it on to remind us what that blank recycled card sleeve contains. The second release on French label DISQ AN, it treads some serious glitchy ambient electronica ground, the kind of stuff that you would want to hear as you’re waking up or alone late at night, y’know, those introspective times.
Mr. Harper loves his reverbs, echos and tiny kick drums. On soundcloud he lists himself as “father, husband” but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s just eloped with his Roland Space Echo to a desert island and borne a family of whirring audiobabies. This is the sound of them playing together on that island, all little snippets of beats over a droning backdrop which gradually shifts in near-Sigur Ros progression, certainly sharing their enthusiasm for life-affirming chords. It’s like a more minimal Future Sound of London, or the more IDM sound of that Insecto record that came out last year. Everything is very timid and not willing to take over the mix until you come to the final track which greets you with a single distorted chord with those omnipresent kick drums dripping over the top.
It’s a short CD so this’ll be a short review, but the aptly-titled Reduction & Variant takes you into the neglected world of small glitch, but only casually beckoning. Come meet my audiobabies.
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