Allegorical Power Series VI

by Erik Schoster
in Please Download Me

tagged reviews

Since June 2003 Antiopic records has been publishing a series of monthly mp3 compilations intended to provoke a socially conscious dialog through "abstract or experimental art and music" - discussion of which they consider to be too often limited to matters of aesthetics. Some of the most creative talents in new music have contributed mp3s (and in one case a quicktime movie) to what is turning into some of the most consistetly high-caliber online releases around to date - on par certainly with the likes of Fallt's popular invalidObject series.

November's chapter is smaller than previous releases and unfortunately contains some weaker material than has been presented before. Even so, Volume VI has many high points - such as duul_drv's moving combination of drones and a field recording of an arrest under words, there is something hidden, as well as Julien Ottavi and Dion Workman's beautiful Beginning Again, Desist's lovely and understated Untitled, and We're Breaking Up's well balanced microsound collage of radio static Receiver 1. The two remaining contributions from Presocratics and Lovely Midget aren't failures by any means - they're simply overshadowed by the strengths of the other releases, not to mention the incredible back-catalog (all of which is still availible for download) of the previous volumes in the series.

Not every piece of music immediately inspires a socially informed critique, and certainly none is simply an exercise in propaganda - but the very act of enclosing these works in the casing of a suggestion to mindful political consideration gives them another dimension to be unraveled. It's usually a fun and sometimes challenging task that tends to inform the possible aesthetic readings of the works rather than negating them.

Highly recommended.