Esc.rec marks 100th release with 37-track compilation

Esc.rec has pulled together a spell-binding 37-track compilation of sound art to mark the label’s 100th release. Hydra Ensemble, Nebula and Karen Willems are among the artists featured.

Matter Affect features artists connected to De Perifeer, a Dutch music, art and performance platform launched in 2014 by Harco Rutgers. The sound artist and designer is also behind Esc.rec.

According to the album’s note, it features “artists, performers and collaboration partners who have been confronted with COVID restrictions … shows that have been cancelled, moved (several times), took place in an adapted form or could not even be booked anymore.”

Run times range from Tijden van Nood’s five-second piece “U Luistert” to Hydra Ensemble’s “ICE,” clocking in at a little under 18 minutes. There isn’t a ton of consistency on display here, as one would expect from such a wide-ranging collection. What ties it all together is a touching intimacy, a reminder that sound art is often most deeply appreciated in-person.

At the same time that we are grateful for Matter Affect, we are one more reminded of what the pandemic has cost both creators and lovers of this beautiful artform.

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