Oblong, Indicator [Expanding Records – ECD26:06, 2006]

oblong_indicatorThe change of direction has already been revealed and verified, for an ultra-consistent label like Expanding anything else would have been impossibility. Oblong’s full-length shares more than one thing in common with the last three releases on Expanding and fit precisely into their overall musical scheme. As is the always the case on Expanding (with the odd exception) the album is also a debut release. If nothing else it is a testament to the clarity of vision held by Expanding’s A&R where each subsequent release offers something new and at the same time offering something very, very familiar. The acoustics are now in the forefront rather than in the back and the rumour of a pending tour for Oblong does not come as a surprise. So what about the music? It’s soothing and heavily influenced by two things: one is jazz and the other would be Ben D Edwards. The well-known expert hand of Mr Edwards can be heard throughout the production, yet the production is much dirtier than you would be accustomed to. Given that you know his previous work or the work of Expanding for that matter, one can but help wondering how much of a struggle that actually was. However there plentiful of moments on this album that really could not have been made by another living individual and the similarities to Stendec are more than striking at times. To summarise: Oblong’s 1st and Expanding’s 26th album release sees the label pursuing a new direction, leaves them looking as strong as ever. Although they may also loose something in the process, moving closer to label friends such as Static Caravan and giving up the rewards of a purist electronic take. Nonetheless, Expanding’s position as being one of the most interesting labels in the World today is utterly preserved.