VA: Blackoperator
Symbolic Interaction

The sixty-eight-minute compilation Blackoperator appears to be a joint project between the Japan-based label Symbolic Interaction and a…fashion brand? Apparently so, although not much more information is available aside from that puzzling detail. Perhaps one is better to see the project as a vehicle for a representative sampling of Symbolic Interaction material by roster artists Rudi Arapahoe, Xeltrei, Vic Mars, Joseph Auer, d_rradio, All Apologies, Anzio Green, and others (some of their tracks previously issued, some not).

There are a few uptempo and extroverted tracks, but most are quieter. “Exp.” offers Joseph Auer's sleek take on Detroit-influenced electronica, while Vic Mars' “Oesol” presents a soothing fusion of atmospheric electronica and trip-hop. Though the twelve fiery minutes of fuzz-toned roar and intricate lead guitar latticework that constitute “Killed By Nature Part.01” and “Killed By Nature Part.02” are credited to Long Lost Rest, the multi-layered electric guitar settings sound virtually identical in style to Kentaro Togawa's The Retail Sectors. Replete with gently swinging breakbeat accompaniment, Oba Masahiro's “Les Trois Coups” gives Satie's serenading piano composition, “ Gymnopédie No.1, ” a glitchy makeover. “Felon” by Dif:use ( Roel and Don Funcken with Cor Bolten) slows the pace with e ight soundscaping minutes of shimmering drift. Other tracks, including the piano-based meditations by David Newlyn and Pawn ( Hideki Umezawa) , are of a softer disposition: Rudi Arapahoe's “Dionysian Birds,” a pretty, nature-based ambient setting of Eno-esque character; Xeltrei's (Erica and Library Tapes' David Wenngren) “Frugal,” a dusty piano-based ambient setting encrusted with nature-based field recordings; and d_rradio's lulling dreamscape “Blue.” Even if they are mystified by the Blackoperator project, label devotees already familiar with the artists' Symbolic Interaction releases will find much to appreciate in the compilation.

January 2010