CDR: Roil Noise RNOCDR029 [2006]

When Knees Bent Backwards
The Heretic Chamber
What Happens When We Forget
Poofty Pufferfish
While We Still Have Feet

Big City Orchestra
Algae Seldom Genuflects
Sort Of

The Roil Noise record label never fails to surprise. On the one hand they put out releases that are all out electronic aural assaults appealing to a minority of fans (see Torturing Nurse as an example [read review here]). Yet on the other they release totally captivating music as this split release by Big City Orchestra / Ctephin proves. It’s got the stage where every release submitted by the label for review is met with feelings of trepidation and elation. To their credit you could never accuse the label of playing safe. Let’s hope they never do.

This 77 minute release features 6 tracks by Ctephin and 5 tracks by Big City Orchestra. Making (if my math is correct) 11 tracks to lose yourself in. Being Roil Noise of course they don’t making reviewing their stuff easy. The reviewer has to work for his guilty pleasures. Therefore (and assuming the press release is correct because it’s not mentioned on the CDR cover) the first 6 tracks are the work of Ctephin. Not much is known about this group. They’ve put out a few recordings but I doubt you’ve heard them. A trio comprising StF, Aedria and Kylan their music, on this release, is a mixture of dark ambient beat infested electronica and samples. They conjure up these beguiling sounds through a variety of instruments, guitars, synths, drums etc. Dreamscapes they be. Music for a sunny afternoon to chill out to. Gorgeous stuff all told. The world can be their oyster if they continue releasing music in this vein.

Big City Orchestra are another well kept secret, although they have a more extensive back catalogue, and combine music with other artistic endeavours. Check their website when you’ve got a spare moment. Impressive indeed. Their five tracks are more experimental in nature aiming for a darker all round feel coupled with slight noise aspects. Combining a mixture of relaxing mellow sounds with abrasive electronics actually works in conjunction with each other. They managed to put a smile on this old cunts face. No mean feat at the best of times.

This split release is easily one of the more accessible releases ever put out by the Roil Noise label. Both groups have contributed tracks that are exceedingly satisfying to listen and get into. Ctephin sets the scene alight with their silvery toned pieces whilst Big City Orchestra brings up the rear with some enterprising thought producing electronics. A release worthy of anyones collection and a recording you’ll never tire of hearing. And that is a fact.


[Big City Orchestra] / [Roil Noise]

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Ctephin: [Maaseh (Gnosis)]

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