(Compilation Review) 樹海/sea of trees [Future Disorder + On Sunday Recordings]

樹海/sea of trees is an excellent compilation of tracks from mostly Japanese electronic producers from the netlabels Future Disorder (based in Colombia) and On Sunday Recordings (based in Japan). The album has very generously been offered free to download from soundcloud, and this sprawling collection is worthier of one’s time than most netlabel compilations, as the array of styles here is a little dizzying, and certainly also evidence of an openness in their approach and their hearts. While On Sunday’s output tends to concentrate on glitch and ambient techno, Future Disorder’s contributions run the widest gamut in terms of genre.  sea of trees spans ambient techno, witch house, minimal wave, glitchy ephemera, electro-acoustic ambient, vaporwave, and quite a few who seem to overlap more than one of these idioms (Kenji Kishi and Jamie J. Ross’s contribution “Standing Tall” comes to mind); what unites these disparate tracks is an aesthetic pregnant with a sense of mystery and longing. For that matter, Future Disorder is a self-described Aokigahara record label.

There are many highlights to this collection. The Los Angeles duo Talking DÆMON sound like the tormented emotionalism of HTRK propelled by a dizzying synth riff out of a Sakamoto film score. Soma Hayato ingeniously spools beats from field recordings on the lovely “Jaburo” while Ryosuke Miyata (also of the excellent Organic Industries) takes a beatless approach to electro-acoustic ambient sounds on “Sweet Double Suicide”. Code4 and Fjell trip deep into foreboding dreams, one with the help of a suffused hip-hop beat, the other with synth strings and an eerie refrain on piano. Whatever vibe you happen to tap into here, you will definitely get hooked onto some new talents if you check this one out. Highly eclectic and highly recommended.

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