This is the debut recording for a brand new label, specialising in experimental music, based in Leicestershire UK. Not only are debuts notoriously difficult to get right, but as the first release on a brand new label, the pressure really is on. Step forward 33.333 whose Grab, blip, noise graced my letterbox recently.
Clocking in at just under 9 minutes, the four tracks here represent a sub-section of minimalism perhaps best exemplified by Joe Gilmore’s Vend project, with a dusting of Bernhard Gunther, and a droplet of Richard Chartier. Grab, blip, noise at times, briefly comes close to emulating these classic minimalists, but somewhere between the brevity of each track (and indeed the whole collection), and the harsh mono panning of each sequence, some key elements have been lost. The sounds generally appear to lack depth and atmosphere, and the noise sequences of this type have literally been done to death over the years. Whilst the sonic arrangements appear to cohere well in the main, everything about this collection sounds rushed, and..well.. just slightly wrong…tokenistic offerings , rather than seriously considered sonic art. Being representative of a genre whose specialist audience enjoys 8cm disc formats, I would have anticipated a full 20-23 minutes of material for my money. This may sound harsh, but in order for a new label to garner respect and admiration, it has to constantly improve and re-invent itself. My criticisms, therefore are not aimless, nor antagonistic, merely constructive and encouraging – I hope.
I am pleased and heartened that in the final track “00.16”, the sounds suddenly appear to take shape, giving me a little hope that 33.333 may re-emerge at some later time, armed with more of these ingredients. In order for both label and artist to thrive and evolve, I would recommend much closer attention to packaging and quality control of both sound and artwork, ( whoever thought Skumpy would sound cool?), and make the follow up release an absolute cracker if you want your work to be heard globally. I’m hoping that I don’t sound pompous or arrogant, as we all have to start somewhere., and very often from small beginnings , great things grow. For those of you out there interested in the future of experimental music, keep a keen eye on Skumpy . Buy this and support them. BGN