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The Land Of: 'Introductions' introduces an Oasis of Tranquility

img  Tobias
All of this suggests that The Land Of is more than “just” another outfit for releasing mesmerisingly charming Sound Art. Somehow, there seems to be a common denominator to all of their albums, a shared underlying set of compositional techniques, timbral pallettes as well as a similarly harmonious balance between the daring and the recognisable – or, as Hardison puts it, a common passion for “work that incorporates both musical and non-musical elements and attempts to frame them and bring out the details of even the most simple everyday sound”. While he does not actively use the family metaphor, he does agree that the roster of his little company is marked by a remarkable congruence: “Often times I find it amazing that I manage to come in contact with so many amazing artists that are working on similar ideas. This is why I created the label in the first place and I think that its primary role. I think its important for artists to have a place to share their work.”

Logically, then, “Introductions” has turned into much more than just a compilation of tracks from the back catalogue. Instead, it represents a densely layered album in its own right, uncovering both the astounding similarities as well as the nuanced differences between the various projects: There’s an excerpt from Asher’s fragmented Piano etudes “Intervals” hidden behind fogs of subtle hiss, The Green Kingdom’s dreamy and potentially infinite Ambient hallways, Darren McClure’s mysteriously sizzling musique concrete as well as a promising preview of Jason Corder’s warmly suspenseful “Midlight”, a track taken from his upcoming album under his offthesky moniker.

Leading the way, however, is a piece by Hardison himself. Combining glowing streaks of fibrilating harmonies with endearing Vinyl groove emissions and shimmering metallic resonances, it makes for an ideal introduction to “Introductions”, focussing on mood and composition at the same time: “For me the interest has always been less on the concepts behind the music or the origin of the sounds and more on the emotional impact of the work”, Hardison, who releases his work as MyFun stresses, “I think that most sounds, especially when they're abstracted can have an emotional effect on the listener and somehow once they're combined with a musical element, they push this idea even further. I think that even if we can't recognize a sound right away there is some quality in it that'll bring out memories of a time when we've heard something similar.”

After having spent so much time on the acoustic aspects of “Introductions”, it should not go unmentioned that this barely half an hour long gift comes wrapped in an oversized square booklet of rough-textured brown paper, which folds out into a small poster depicting the very naive land of miracles and wonders this label has sought to delineate through sound. “We will be releasing an Introductions type compilation every five releases or so”, Hardison promises. Judging by the current speed of the label, that’s still a way off, but for the moment, this brief sampler is enough to help the romantically inclined trough at least the next winter!

Homepage: The Land Of Records

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