A horrible hack

The Album Leaf

In An Off White Room

Year Released: 2001
Format: 10"
Label: Troubleman
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Troubleman strikes again! What a roll this label is on. For those who don’t know, the Album Leaf is a Tristeza side project from Jimmy Lavelle. And AL perhaps sound a little like, a better version of Tristeza. Which in turn means they sound like a slightly more electronica style Aerial M.

First track here, “Project Loop”, is spellbinding. Gracefully melodic, it is a full wall of sound that never gets too imposing. Repetetive drum beats play out under the main tune, interspersed with occasionally fizzy-whizzy effects, and just a whole lot of warmth. It’s very simple on the whole, and never gets irritatingly complicated or confusing. It’s nice music, simply put. Kind of like how you always wanted the 2nd Tristeza LP to sound - if only they had gotten a tiny bit more experimental.

And then, in between “Project Loop” and track 2, “Off White Room”, Lavelle slips in some field recordings of the countryside! Heh. It could have come off as a bad cliché (if it is one?), or just pretentiousness, but it works really well. Ah… birdsong. “Off White Room” then subtly drones into earshot beneath the chirps, magnificent. The music itself is a slow-burning glide, the drone continues to slide through the music, never becoming annoying, as the tune itself develops around it.

Flip this over and you get “Glisten”, which starts off with more sound effects (rain? A plane taking off?), and then twinkles for a short while. This is the shortest track on here, but it still packs a lot into it’s duration. Outside right now there is a layer of snow on the ground, and this is the sort of music you hear playing in your head for just such an occasion. Following that is the meandering “Six AM”, which is based around a hypnotic, repetetive organ sound. It’s probably the least impressive of the pieces on this record, but hey. Still good.

A fantastic little 10” thit is, yes, fantastic! Own it!

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