[Preservation; 2013]

Australian label Preservation has followed up an impressive 2012 with a terrific little tape series called Contrasts, in which two artists–one relatively new, one a relative veteran–explore different styles of electronic music. The Pimmon/Deep Magic tape is especially engaging; both sides of the cassette are worth listening to, but it’s Deep Magic’s rumbling ode to drone that I want to mention here. Wooden instruments and the sound of whistling, rushing wind clatter in the background as a smeared, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma-esque drone transports the listener to a dense, verdant woodland. Sometimes we’re soaring high above the clouds; at other points it seems like we’ve dipped beneath the surface of a lake, complete with what sounds like the lonely ping of a submersible’s radar. All-encompassing but hardly oppressive, this particular tape is a must-have for anyone into ambient drone music, and it reminds us that even in this rather minimalist genre there is much room for a teeming variety of stylistic choices and aesthetic representation.