33.333 – Grab, blip.noise – 8cm CDR – Skumpy Records


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


About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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