The trio of Jason Corder (composer and producer), Jordan Munson (noise textures), and Colin Cambell (percussive samples) make up the intriguing unit known as Off The Sky. This delightful album, Creek Caught Fire, although continuing The Land Of’s lo-fi packaging aesthetic, demands focussed and concentrated listening on hi-fidelity equipment. Here we have a music akin to much of the early 12k output, combining delicate, minimal slices of instrumentation, filtered through a scree of texture and fine sampling manipulation. This is not unlike early Sogar, Taylor Deupree, or Sebastien Roux in feel, as carefully crafted pieces are dissected and dessicated into fine slivers of elegant sound, tumbling around in a froth and foam of ethereal organic textures. These gently decaying pieces would certainly not be out of place amongst some of the higher end minimalism emerging from labels such as 12k, NVO, Room 40 , and a host of others, and this further enhances the reputation of a small label rapidly emerging as a contender for larger audiences, by introducing an ever stronger roster of talented artists.
With titles like Willow Piece, Cloud Spotting, and Red River, it would be all to easy to assume that these are pastoral pieces, borne of a kind of backwoods electro-folk aesthetic – far from it, Off The Sky present us with eight carefully rendered sound tracts that although not entirely original, are beautifully sculpted, and sophisticated layers and fracturings, perfectly paced for passive listening in a meditative environment, the ideal backdrop for a chilled winter afternoon by the fire, or even as a pre-sleep come down – neither too intrusive, nor too demanding on the ear, yet utterly fascinating and immersive listening, particularly standing up to close scrutiny under headphones. One of the year’s finest minimal/ambient/crossover albums, that I have played several times per day since it arrived at my door. Most excellent. BGN