Audio. Visuals. Atmosphere.

AVA bundleBelgium’s fine Audio. Visuals. Atmosphere. label released a bundle of four new cassettes on Friday. Alocasia Garden, Christopher Whitley and Tereshkova have each produced a new title. The fourth is a compilation featuring one track each from Uaxactun, RVH, False Moniker and Sequences.

All of the contributions are faithful to the AVA methodology.

Alocasia Garden – Wall Of Glass

The seven-track cassette rumbles to life gradually with a kind of radioactive drone piece from which the tape takes its name. it’s ominous, but not overly harsh.

From there, the album heads in multiple directions. “How Cruel It Was To Have To Be Alive” features an intense piano solo. “Where No Hands Could Reach Out To Him” is pure noise. “The Loneliness of Winter” combines noise and electronics to produce a surprisingly melodic piece.

Christopher Whitley – Hecca Autre

Christopher Whitley opens his 12-song tape with a digitally manipulated strings recording. “Autre (I)” is a creative, mature work that is as sophisticated as it is subversive.

The full album follows suit. “Everything’s (II)” offers difficult, jarring synth lines. The strings are back on “14,” tightly edited and completely transformed in the process. The album’s most grandiose moment comes on “Cremations (II) & (III).” It’s a fairly conventional ambient drone piece, but its volume makes it special. It feels colossal.

Tereshkova – Addendum: Rainbows

This two-piece cassette is more conventional than the others, but not by much. It’s opener “Madonna” would sound right at home with many of the most adventurous pieces to come out of new classical circles at the end of the 20th century. It has a majestic-horror movie energy familiar to Stanley Kubrick fans.

“Some With Wings” will make your heart race. Of the four releases, this cassette is the stand-out.

Various Artists – Elemental

If the hallmark of a successful label is that its artists feel connected in one way or another, then this small compilation qualifies as a proof point in AVA’s favour. Besides featuring four terrific pieces of music, it’s an enjoyable, cohesive listen.

Sequences’ “Cascade” is the highlight. But to be fair, all of these are wonderful drone/noise compositions.

The four cassettes are available separately as well as in a four-tape package.

Kevin Press

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