1 | Favourite Places | Various
 Cat: AB016 
 Time: March 08
 Media: CD & Digital Download

 Info: Favourite Places brings together field and 
 compositional recordings depicting places of 
 importance and significance within the lives of 
 contemporary artists.

 Creative direction: www.stereographic.co.uk

 Interactive website: www.audiobulb.com/fp.htm 
 Artist: Taylor Deupree
 Place: Forest, Pound Ridge, New York
 Track: 6 a.m.
 Location: 41º13'43”N, 73º34'46”W

 Artist: Dot Tape Dot
 Place: My Bathroom
 Track: Shower Time & Glockenspiel
 Location: 43º32'31.78''N, -5º 39'55.80''W

 Artist: Claudia
 Place: Studio Apartment
 Track: In Case There Is An Emergency
 Location: 34º01'35"N, 118º24'46"W

 Artist: Biosphere
 Place: Tranøy Fyr
 Track: Tranøy Lighthouse
 Location: 68º11'02”N, 15º36'7”E

 Artist: John Kannenberg
 Place: Great Court, British Museum, London
 Track: The Mausoleum of All Hope and Desire
 Location: 51 ° 31'07"N, 0 ° 07'38W

 Artist: RF
 Place: Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto
 Track: A Place For Saving
 Location: A Place For Saving (featuring Midori Hirano)

 Artist: Aaron Ximm
 Place: Alley between Gola Gali and Thatheri Bazaar
 Track: Chai in the City of Light
 Location: 25°18'45"N, 83°0'35"E

 Artist: Build
 Place: Robert Moses Causeway
 Track: Untitled
 Location: 40°40'32.95"N, 73°16'24.10"W

 Artist: Leafcutter John
 Place: Studio
 Track: Guitar Composed
 Location: 51°33'14”N, 0°03'15”W

 Artist: Nomad Palace
 Place: Long Lake
 Track: Northern
 Location: 44º13'0"N, 89º7'32"W 

FP - Interactive Website 
REVIEWS | 1 | Favourite Places

 When ten multitalented and respected international artists/musicians join up and collectively share personal 
 portraits of their most cherished places via sounds, photographs, and written word, something good is bound 
 to result - and it has - a new release from Audiobulb Records  titled FAVOURITE, PLACES . A précis of 
 FAVOURITE, PLACES would be that it contains ten individual snapshots of much loved places documented in 
 sound, picture, and written word. As enjoyable and relevant as listening to the sounds unfold on this intimate 
 audio diary of FAVOURITE, PLACES is unfolding the accompanying insert. Printed front-and-back, it opens out 
 to reveal twelve square panels/sections. Two of the panels depict the album's cover art while each of the 
 remaining ten sections contains a photograph of each artist's favorite place on one side and a brief description 
 on the opposite side detailing why that particular place was chosen.

 Each composition is constructed from field recordings, real instruments, and various degrees of digital 
 processing/editing. The sound styles are as varied as the diverse locations represented which range from 
 pastoral environments (forest, lakeside cottage, land bridge, shrine. lighthouse) to urban settings (ancient 
 Indian city, museum) to very domestic, intimate locales (bathroom, studio, apartment). 

 FAVOURITE, PLACES begins with Taylor Deupree's early morning forest recording 6 a.m.  being an idyllic 
 banquet of soft, shimmering tones and acoustic guitar. Dot Tape Dot brings a slice of domestic life with the 
 self-descriptive titled Shower Time and Glockenspiel  which juxtaposes sounds of bathing and shower time 
 with beautiful carillon. Claudia's studio apartment is the setting for In Case there is An Emergency  which is 
 a nostalgic collage of voices, found sounds, and broken, toy-like noises. Biosphere visited the Tranøy 
 Lighthouse  to collect his source sounds. The initial segment capturing the scolding twitter of a flock of angry 
 terns stands in stark contrast to the mellow IDM tinged ambiance that follows. John Kannenberg, who might 
 just be regarded as the expert here on the sonics of spaces, used field recordings taken in a museum as the 
 basis for The Mausoleum of All Hope and Desire . Whispering conversations, children's voices, 
 announcements, echoing footsteps, coughing, and objects being moved open this piece that over the course 
 of it duration slowly evolves into a whirling, droning, ambient symphony. RF (Ryan Francesconi), in 
 collaboration with Midori Hirano, created A Place For Saving  whose inspiration is a field recording of walking 
 the paths at Shimogamo Shrine at various times. Tender, poignant vocals by Midori, Ryan's beautiful acoustic 
 guitar playing , and soft melodies give this slow moving piece an ethereal atmosphere true to the location. 

 Delving into the second half of the CD, Aaron Ximm captures moments in sound in an alley in the sacred Indian 
 city of Varanasi with Chai in the City of Light . Carefully layered segments of voices extracted from chattering 
 crowds of inhabitants , chants, resonating bells, and the hiss of steam building in a pot of boiling water show 
 The Quiet American's expertise in transforming isolated everyday sounds into an extraordinary aural exposé. 
 It's a hard call, but I'll tag New York-based Damon Zucconi's (Build) Untitled  as my favorite piece on release. 
 Based on recordings taken on the Robert Moses Causeway (bridge connecting Long Island to Fire Island), 
 about a minute's worth of road noise and highways sounds develops into almost four-minutes of cinematic 
 blissfulness, loaded with sweet choral sounds, bits of rapid-fire percussion, tiny hiccups of glitch, and then, 
 towards the end, reaches an apex of orchestral ambiance. Leafcutter John is an alias of UK-based musician/
 sound artist John Burton. He fuses samples, computer music, and folk influences coupled with Max/MSP 
 processing into an electro-acoustic folk amalgam. The first half of Guitar Composed  consists some rather 
 abrasive (and mildly irritating) sawing sounds and odd guitar noise that for a brief period erupts into a bit of 
 techno madness before returning to an abstract clutter of noises and then settling down towards the end into 
 a still noisy but threatening short-lived segment of darkness. Nomad Palace (Nate Zabriskie, Milwaukee USA) 
 brings the CD full circle back to its pastoral beginnings with Northern. The lakeside cottage owned by his 
 family is remembered by him as a place of "firsts". A two-minute segment crackling field recordings (water 
 noise - maybe a gentle rain shower, wind noise) turns into a wonderfully percolating ambient piece of 
 harmonious tones brimming sweetness and but shaded with a touch of melancholy. 

 FAVOURITE, PLACES is an excellent addition to Audiobulb's  discography demonstrating not only the label's 
 diversity and commitment to exellence, but also showcasing the talents of several exceptional musicians 
 and sound artists from around the world.


 No doubt everybody must have a place that they call their own. A place which you cherish and go back. 
 Like a forest, the bath, a museum or an alley. These are just four of the examples on this CD of ten pieces 
 of artists' favorite places which they were asked to record and then treat those recordings into a music 
 piece - both source and composition are inside one track. The whole project comes with photos and 
 coordinates. All neat and carefully planned. The end result is certainly as great. From forest walk by 
 Taylor Deupree to the lighthouse of Biosphere, from the bath of Dot Tape Dot and the studio of Leafcutter 
 John - it all sounds intimate and the music they play as a result of these intimate recordings is of a likewise 
 intimate nature. Drones, glockenspiel, acoustic guitar and rhythms make up eerie music. It moves away 
 from the previous compilations by this label that the artists are better known, musicwise it moves more 
 towards ambient and less to techno music (in all it's guises) and the thematic approach. Topped off with 
 an elaborate packaging (both print work and jewel case) this is the best effort on Audiobulb so far. 
 Also included are Claudia, John Kannenberg, RF, Aaron Ximm, Build and Nomad Palace. Very lush. 

 The question an artist fears more than any other is: What inspires you? This is not to say that the issue 
 were unimportant or even trivial. Quite on the contrary: The reason is that he mostly doesn't know the 
 answer himself. “Favourite Places” now tries to shed some light on one of the greatest wonders the world 
 has on offer. 

 For this collection, Audiobulb have invited ten artists to contribute a track representing a space of relevance 
 to them. The geographical distances covered by the sampler weave a net of finely humming tunes, which 
 runs from one side of the Atlantic to the other and all the way to Japan: Taylor Deupree recorded insects 
 buzzing in the early morning air at the back of his house, Dot Tape Dot's Dani soaped himself in for a jump 
 into his beloved bathtub, while Ryan Francesconi paid a personal homage to the “peaceful forested place 
 not far from the centre of Kyoto” that is the Shimogamo Shrine. 

 Around every corner, there is wonder, underneath every stone a story. Just as eclectic as its roster of 
 composers is the motivation that lies at the basis of their contributions. To Biosphere, “Tranoy Fir” brings 
 back memories both of a beautiful summer night and of suddenly being attacked by a swarm of birds, John 
 Kannenberg dotes on the fascination he holds for the acoustics of musea (including what they do to the 
 sounds of one's own body), while Nate Zabriskie of Nomad Palace has selected a completely unspectacular, 
 but all the more intimate spot: His family's lakeside cottage has been home to his earliest childhood memories. 

 Almost all pieces here open with a stretch of field recording, presenting the place's acoustics in a pure form, 
 before the music comes in, entering a symbiosis with the pre-recorded material. The concept of the album has 
 almost automatically led to the plethora of pieces conveying a tranquil, truly happy ambiance of inner quietude 
 and calm. Glockenspiel, guitar, flute, floating drones and heavenly melodies fill the air, leading the listener into 
 a three dimensional dream full of vivid impressions. 

 On a few occasions, the composers however display an interest in other emotions, pleasantly bending the 
 tension arch: Kannenberg's “The Mausoleum of All Hope and Desire” is grand and majestic, Aaron Ximm's 
 “Chai in the City of Light” an inverted psychotrope vision and Leafcutter John's “Guitar Composed” a bizarrely 
 poetic sawing session. 

 Because of their similarity in arrangement, the tracks can be seen as depicting the inspirational process in a 
 very direct way: Where first was chaos, there now is order and the unpitched sounds of the world around 
 us are suddenly transposed into the realms of harmony. In each case, the link between the artist's environment 
 and his music is a direct one: Images, noises or words rise up from the moment and pour themselves on the 
 empty canvas of his mind. If there seems to be a discrepancy or conflict between the location and the piece 
 resulting from it, then this is only obvious: After all, the composition is always subjective, led by sudden and 
 all too often contradictory emotions. 

 How does it happen precisely? Well, “Favourite Places” offers no clear-cut answers. Very different places 
 can lead to very similar results, while almost identical situations can lead to completely diverging works – 
 perusing the booklet for background information to each track is a wonderful and – ahum – inspiring read, but 
 it doesn't lead to any conclusive methodology. 

 On the one hand, it sounds like a disappointment: The creative process is simply too personal to be summarised 
 in a single, unified theory. On the other hand, the message of this album is a very positive one: If so many 
 different places can serve as an impetus, then every moment offers the chance for beauty. While it may 
 never be satisfyingly answered, there is no longer any need to fear that question about inspiration.


 Audiobulb has issued many fine releases but Favourite Places , a fully-realized compilation conceived and
 produced with admirable care by all involved, may be the finest yet. Ten musical artists were asked to 
 make field recordings of places that hold personal significance and then augment them with an audio 
 component designed to capture their subjective impressions of the locales—a distillation of external and 
 internal realities, so to speak. In most cases, artists and geographical settings are equally varied: Taylor 
 Deupree in NY, Biosphere in Norway , RF in Japan , Aaron Ximm wandering through Varanasi 's old city 
 near the Ganges River , and so on. Enhancing their pieces is an accompanying fold-out poster that shows 
 written and visual information relating to each place. 

 One of the best pieces, Taylor Deupree's “6 a.m.,” appears first and is as lovely as his recent ROOM40 
 single Landing . Recorded from the back door of his Pound Ridge, NY home, the opening section focuses 
 on the swelling chirp of insects, the second augments them with glimmering tones, and the third adds 
 peaceful guitar shadings . Equally beautiful and as stirring as RF & Lili De La Mora's Eleven Continents is 
 RF's “A Place for Saving,” which opens with the sounds of a peaceful forest locale not far from the 
 Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto and is subsequently joined by Ryan Francesconi's peaceful acoustic guitar 
 playing and the entrancing whisper of vocalist Midori Hirano. 

 Each piece is notable for one reason or another. Biosphere, who recorded “Tranøy Lighthouse” at Tranøy 
 Fyr, Northern Norway when he was attempting to make a panoramic shot of the Lofoten Islands, bookends 
 a dreamy electronic waltz with the clatter of attacking terns. John Kannenberg documents the huge 
 reverberance of the Great Court in the British Museum , London and places an electrical drone at its 
 center (“The Mausoleum of All Hope and Desire”). Build travels the Robert Moses Causeway and re-imagines 
 the trip in the form of shimmering tones and squirrelly beats (“Untitled”), and Nomad Palace pairs a campfire 
 at his family's lakeside cottage at Long Lake with a wistful electronic song (“Northern”). 

 Sometimes a given field section goes on a bit too long—three full minutes of Dot Tape Dot splashing in his 
 bathtub and another three of Leafcutter John sawing in his workshop in Hackney, East London is about 
 twice as long as necessary in each case—but that's a relatively minor caveat. The project's producer 
 hopes that the recording will inspire listeners to become more sensitive to the audio dimensions of their 
 own favourite places, and the project has the potential to do so. Given the breadth and quality of this 
 first chapter, one naturally looks forward to the surprises other artists' “audio diaries” will present on 
 volume two. 


 Everyone has a favourite place, be it cosy internal retreat or  cherished patch of Great Outdoors. Forest, 
 bathtub, museum and alley  find common cause on this audio-document from Sheffield experimental  
 electronica label, Audiobulb, compiling ten pieces representing selected artists' Favourite Places.  
 Captured field recordings blend with musical treatments to make  mementoes enfolding inspiring source 
 within inspired composition.  

 Taylor Deupree – whose “6 a.m.”  is one of the most successful pieces in its equilibrium of environment  
 and music - is content to watch the sun rise amid the susurration of  his native New Yorker wildlife, insect 
 chatter shading into shimmering  tones, then adding languid guitar colourings. Biosphere,  on the other hand, 
 typically questing for more polar extremes, won’t  settle for anything less than a swarm of terns clacking 
 angrily around  a Norwegian lighthouse ("Tranøy Lighthouse") to sandwich his woozy  waltz-beat filling. 
 RF’s serene stroll around Shimogamo Shrine,  to the accompaniment of oh-so tasteful acoustic guitar 
 plucking and  Midori Hirano heart-felt warblings, is a rather too precious delicacy  for this listener. And 
 Claudia’s studio apartment setting for  “In Case there is An Emergency” results in a collage of voices, 
 found  sounds, and broken toy-tronics that proves slightly enervating. 

 A far more febrile soundscape comes from John Kannenberg, who fixates on public space on “The 
 Mausoleum of All Hope and Desire”,  a reverberating drono-lithic collage sampling the British Museum's  
 Great Court. Sundry voices, footsteps, externations, and objects in  motion evolve into a euphonic 
 soundwhirl. A stand-out too is a name familiar from previous Audiobulb compilations,  Build, whose 
 cinematic drive along Robert Moses Causeway to a somewhat  perturbed sounding ocean is envisioned 
 in shimmering digi-tones and  sinuous glitch-stitched skitter-beats, climaxing in chiming  electro-ambient 
 orchestrality (“Untitled”). 

 Some pieces, however, err in overindulging of topos at the expense of Musae. Three minutes of Dot 
 Tape Dot’s bathtub splashings on “Shower Time and Glockenspiel” and a similar stretch of Leafcutter 
 John’s  workshop sawings are the type of contributions that tend to add fuel to  Mr and Mrs Mainstream’s 
 suspicions of ‘experimental’ music, i.e. it  doesn’t serve well as music. Overall, though, a good balance is  
 achieved across the set between pitched and unpitched material. The  artist formerly known as The Quiet 
 American  choreographs layers of crowd noise, chants, resonating bells, and the  hiss of steam in a boiling 
 pot to create a transportive exhibit in the  melding of everyday ephemera into backstreet symphony. It's 
 soundwalk man Aaron Ximm, giving a glimpse of the possible music of environments in a clangorous 
 meander through Varanasi’s old city near the Ganges river; his “Chai in  the City of Light”, though on the 
 surface bereft of conventional  musical sonorities, somehow through compositional sleight of hand  
 approximates the sound of music. Finally, we come near full circle with  Nomad Palace's “Northern”, a 
 piece borne of a lakeside family cottage location, proffering a stretch of the elemental that segues  into 
 a sad-happy sliver of 12k-style organic electronica. 

 Imbued with the wistfulness of personal archaeology, it serves to shepherd the Favourite Places project 
 mission, as articulated by Audiobulb leading light, David Newman - to "inspire the audience to become 
 increasingly active listeners whilst experiencing their own favourite places” - to a satisfyingly emotionally 
 resonant closure.  Enhancing  this aural assemblage is a fold-out poster giving written and visual  
 coordinates for each place documented. A further dinky design detail is  that each individual CD features a 
 unique location dot matrix  representing the ten tracks - hand-made designs that bring a unique design 
 aesthetic  into play with the art of noise, sound and vision of the assembled  sonicians in what is ultimately 
 a satisfying multimodal experience of  travelling without moving.  

 Review by Alan Lockett

 More of a conceived project than a standard album, ‘Favourite Places' is a collection of recordings from, 
 surprisingly enough, artists' favourite places. All the tracks begin with extended samples from the chosen 
 locations which are then gently mixed in to a musical composition designed to encapsulate said place.
 Unsurprisingly, this comes across as rather abstract, but some of them are also strangely satisfying - almost
 hypnotic - to listen to, such as the crunchy footsteps around the Shimogama Shrine in Kyoto, which then 
 melt into ghostly minimal folk. 

 The album certainly isn't the easiest of listens, and it does veer into self indulgence at times, but there are 
 definitely some interesting moments, especially the dreamy soundtrack of Biosphere's ‘Tanoy Lighthouse' 
 and the brief skittish electronica of Build and the excellent Leafcutter John, representing Robert Moses 
 Causeway and a recording studio, respectively. Overall then, an intriguing collection from Audiobulb, 
 who seem to be consistently putting out noteworthy releases. 

 Audiobulb's credentials have recently been bolstered by the release of the label's curator, David Newman's
 “Autistici” incarnation on 12k. Never at a loss for instigating highly creative and evolving/involving projects, 
 Newman has brought us a label worthy of further attention.

 Favourite Places is essentially an audio diary, examining the audible and conceptual possibilities yielded by
 each invited artist's sense of place in their world, inviting them to document and interpret their favourite 
 places in sound, utilising field recordings, and instrumentation. In essence, this is the audible equivalent of 
 a Mark Boyle/Boyle Family art installation, isolating and freezing a specific place at a particular moment in 
 time, fine slivers of reality that can further be preserved, observed and analysed.

 The approaches are many and varied, and loathe though I am to review compilations these days, Favourite 
 Places is an exception to the rule. Leafcutter John, Taylor Deupree, and Biosphere all take their place here, 
 being regular, and well documented contributors to compilations elsewhere, alongside other accomplished 
 artists such as Stasisfield's John Kannenberg, Dot Tape Dot, Claudia, Aaaron Ximm, Build, and Nomad 

 There are some interesting and creative solutions here, and Dot Tape Dot take an idiosyncratic recording of 
 the process of washing and bathing, an intensely personal document of domestic activity, that once isolated, 
 and combined with glockenspiel becomes musical, and somehow shamanic. Kannenberg's field recording 
 of the Great Hall at the British Museum in London places us firmly amongst bustling, yet muted crowds of 
 people and human activity, this then opening out into an expansive, resonating keyboard sequence, that 
 reverberates, and builds, introducing tonal blips and textural shifts, it is quite astounding. Build primarily 
 concentrate their compositional focus on the musical elements of the Robert Moses Causeway that 
 traverses a straight line to the Atlantic Ocean, their piece is a bubbling, effusive, almost techno rendering 
 of their environment. RF, naturally attracted my attention with a minimal interpretation of the Shimogamo 
 Shrine in Kyoto with the sound of each artists' footsteps on the gravel, overlaid with delicate guitar, and 
 Sawako-like vocals.

 All in all, a highly absorbing, and deeply personal set of recordings that would slide neatly between Chris 
 Watson, and the works of R.Murray Schaeffer. Favourite Places encompasses all that is great in 
 compositional field recording..documenting soundmarks, and combining the subjective and highly 
 idiosyncratic, with urban and domestic soundscapes, this is a unique and memorable collection. 


 WHITE_LINE - promoting minimalism internationally

 David Newman, of exploratory electronica label Audiobulb, recently put out a call for submissions for a 
 project bringing together field recordings, compositional interpretation and digital images. The idea was for 
 artists to create a “dynamic audio diary”, focusing on a favourite place of their choice. Each artist who made 
 it onto the CD – Leafcutter John, Taylor Deupree and Biosphere among them – immerses the listener in found 
 sound from their favourite place, before re-interpreting this tangible audio into more abstract and intimate 
 musical forms.

 The varying approaches make for a genuinely transporting listen. Dot Tape Dot’s favourite place is their 
 bathroom. As expected, the noise of “My Bathroom” is ‘wet’, with the Spanish group soaking the listener in a 
 warm slosh of noise before featherlight glockenspiels enrich the sonic bath. A world away, a flock of birds 
 call close to the mic on Biosphere’s “Tranoy Lighthouse” heralding a lonely wash of sound which floats on the 
 rising tide. Meanwhile, in Japan, RF treats us to an emotional walk to Kyoto’s Shimogamo Shrine: augmented 
 steps on a gravel path provide the “beats” before a melancholy guitar plucks out a beautiful melody alongside 
 Midori Hirano’s gentle vocals. 
 Favourite Places brings alive personal memories via geography and sound, the local made global; despite its 
 geographic reach, it is a surprisingly intimate record as a result.
 Susanna Glaser | THE WIRE 291 May 2008

 A lot of good quality from the "various artists" sector in recent times, given that I'm certainly not a fan of such 
 a kind of release. The concept behind this is easily defined: each artist had to use a recording of his/her 
 favourite location (according to "their subjective perspective of the place") in a specific composition destined to 
 this project. As variegated as it is, the album presents an evident subdivision in a home/far from home distinction. 
 True, there are those who get inspired by their own house - be it because of its proximity to a forest, or due to 
 just anything that an apartment has been meaning for long periods - or who fondly remember the venue where 
 they got "first experiences" (baby steps, meditation, first-time love). The second group privileges memories and 
 direct testimonies of trips or socio-geographic investigations, such as finding themselves amidst a mass of 
 pilgrims near a sacred river or getting attacked by aggressive birds while trying to look at an island from the coast. 
 Even the resonating voices and muffled noises in a museum can do it. To the extreme, there's someone who 
 decided that a bathroom is the best spot, and relaxing in hot water the preferred means of concentration. I gave 
 you a few clues about what you're going to find in this nice disc, now what's missing is only the participant list: 
 Taylor Deupree, Dot Tape Dot, Claudia, Biosphere, John Kannenberg, RF, Aaron Ximm, Build, Leafcutter John, 
 Nomad Palace. Each one gives us something intriguing enough to listen carefully in this well-conceived edition.

 Parafrasando McLuhan si potrebbe dire che il luogo è il messaggio. Luoghi familiari dove si è o ci si sente a 
 casa, luoghi ignoti dove si è estranei del tutto o dove, magari, ci si estrania da tutto, ancora luoghi di transito 
 e di attraversamentoŠ Le due compilation qui segnalate hanno a che vedere, in maniera più o meno differente, 
 proprio con questi argomenti. 
Nel caso di "Favourite, Places" sono chiamati a raccolta dieci sound artists internazionali, ognuno dei quali propone registrazioni effettuate in luoghi di particolare importanza per l'autore stesso, che si tratti del bagno di casa, del proprio studio di incisione o una gelida e sperduta terrazza sul mare con vista sulle isole Lofoten. Inoltre ciascun contributo viene completato da note, fotografie, riferimenti, descrizioni e coordinate precise (latitudine, longitudine etc.) di ciascun sito. E, a parte qualche intervento poco o tanto posticcio (le bacchettate per il peggiore spettano al solito Claudia), i risultati sono di ottima fattura, dall'infallibile Deupree, che con grande semplicità e fascino reperta il brusio degli insetti in una notte estiva nel cortile della sua residenza nei boschi di Pound Ridge, a Biosphere e RF, che rispettivamente arricchiscono di delicate melodie acustiche le field recordings di uno stormo di rondini marine catturate in prossimità della terrazza di cui sopra e gli scalpiccii di religiose passeggiate zen nel grande parco dello Shimogamo Shrine alle porte di Kyoto, alla poetica documentazione sul campo ad opera di Aaron Ximm di uno scorcio dell'agglomerato urbano di Varanasi, la città della luce sulle sponde del Gange, sacra a Shiva e meta di continui pellegrinaggi induisti. (8) http://www.blowup.com

 "Did you ever stop to notice all the blood we've shed before…did you ever stop to notice the crying Earth 
 the weeping shores…AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” As ever, that tumbly-faced monster Michael Jackson 
 was right. What a right old state this old world is in. I pick up the paper, and what do I see? Death. I turn 
 on the news, and what do I see? Death. I step outside my door and start aimlessly stabbing passers-by, 
 and what do I see? Yup, death, and lots of it. Is there anywhere on this planet untouched by the reaper's 
 sickening sickel swinging? Is there anywhere nice outside the confines of my head? 

 I'm guessing that this is pretty much how Audiobulb pitched this project to the musicians involved.Although 
 without all the stuff about death. We're left with this lovely compilation in which ten artists tell us all about 
 their favourite places, using mixtures of field recordings and music. Their pitch was strong enough to get 
 some big names too - Taylor Deupree watches the sun rise with New York state wildlife, while Biosphere 
 thankfully opts not to drag himself back up to the Himalayas, settling instead for viewing terns noisily 
 circling a Norwegian lighthouse. Some of my favourite tracks are by those I'm less aware of - RF's 
 meander around Shimogamo Shrine accompanied by the heart-melting vocals of Midori Hirano (” A Place 
 For Saving “; we could all use some of that), and Build's cinematic drive to a menacing-sounding ocean. 

 I find it interesting is how many of these tracks are recorded in or near the artist's home - Deupree's 
 back garden, Dot Tape Dot's bathroom, Claudia's apartment, Leafcutter John's studio, Nomad Palace's 
 childhood holiday cottage. Maybe that is what is responsible for lending the album a gorgeous, safe, 
 comforting feel, like a warm blanket and a mug of cocoa. Maybe I was right earlier - time to batten down 
 the hatches and hide away; just me, my duvet and my Michael Jackson records. Far away from any 
 sharp things.

 Available any day now from Audiobulb.

 A foray into the psychological swamp of todays practitioners of experimental electronica, the simple 
 though direct and ultimately telling quality of the question that underlies this compilation shines through the 
 ensuing compositions like light through a stained glass window. “What is your favorite place in the world?” 
 the label asks and Aaron Ximm, Taylor Deupree, Biosphere, and Leafcutter John, amongst others, are 
 those who give voice to their private sentiments on the matter.
 Apart from the aural evidence provided, each artist scrawls a brief gambit concerning their selection, where 
 the sounds are protruding from and why it seems pertinent. It is pulled off with poise and a certain sense of 
 importance, and this makes it something in which investments can be made, won, and lost, rather than 
 something that asks for little and is content to be thumbed through casually. In his piece 6am, Deupree records 
 the calming burr of insects as they awaken from their mildewy bed just steps outside his home. These noises 
 are then spliced with clean drones and hushed tones lulling time away in a state of suspension. Many others 
 seem equally enamored with the place they call home, with its inherent spatial and acoustic potential, though 
 the recording shows some variety, with others opting for public spaces - such as museums - or memorable 
 vacation spots. RF, accompanied by Midori Hirano, is one of the latter, and their piece provides one of the 
 more song-based moments harbored by the document. The piece is paved with field recordings of the two 
 sauntering through the Shimogamo Shrine, a forested place near the centre of Kyoto, but it reverberates with 
 a soft guitar melody and Hirano’s delicate, rather beautiful voice.
 In such circumstances a purely sentimental response would be all too easy, and while the nature of the 
 question doesn’t go without taking its victims, over the course of the album, many portray something personal 
 while still managing it with technique and proficiency.
 Audiobulb Is an exploratory music label designed to support the work of innovative artists. 

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