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Various Artists On Isolation

Isolationist music stereotypically consists of drones and long silences that make the Earth feel like a lonelier and more desolate place. This compilation sometimes shatters those barriers. Janek Schaefer finds frolicsome bliss in rainbow-lit vibraphone tones, and Scanner brilliantly drenches a gentle piano ballad in rough wilderness noises. The conventional isolationist tracks make angst and claustrophobia oddly relaxing. Richard Chartier achieves a weightless drone that mimics fog passing by skyscrapers and David Toop's ominous bell tones and sparse Japanese flutes ballet-dance in blackness. Greg Davis' virtually silent recording of a farm reminds us how startling low volume can be.

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