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Pablo's Eye / Dark Matter / Stroom

Perhaps in these winter months it’s natural to be drawn to records that have a slightly icier chill. Exercises in abstraction and reduction, a focus on as much what is left unsaid as is said. ‘Dark Matter’ is the final part of a trilogy of archival material from Belgium’s Pablo’s Eye, compiled with loving care by Stroom label boss Ziggy Devriendt (AKA Nosedrip), and it fits the bill perfectly.

The three releases have followed a pathway from the somewhat traditionally ‘balearic’ ‘Spring Break‘ through the more electronic and narcotic ‘Bardo for Pablo‘ and now ending with a deeply satisfying conclusion in ‘Dark Matter’. This is the most contemplative and inward collection of music and, despite being essentially a compilation, it arrives feeling like a fully formed LP.

Much of the music here is without a beat. When a concrete rhythm does appear it is of a creeping, dub nature, being most prominent on ‘Out of the Corner of Her Eye’ which is also one of the easiest to place in a timeframe. But you’d be hard pressed to date a lot of the other pieces, organic instruments drift into electronics, the lines blur and it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is manipulated. Marie Mandi’s oblique spoken word intwines with samples, pitch shifting around on ‘L.A Desert’.

Deeeeeeeeeep sounds to get lost in and a superlative piece of musical curation from Stroom. Highly recommended!

‘Dark Matter’ is out on the 21st January on Stroom

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