Various Artists, A Small Frame of Reference [October Man Recordings – OCTOBER MAN 15, 2006]

omr015_small_frame_ofA compilation on October Man Recordings that contains 14 tracks by 13 artists as is usually the case there are some well-known contributors to OMR and some who make their first contribution. The electronic music elder Cheju opens A Small Frame of Reference with the trademarked sounding and beautiful Bracken. The one thing out of the ordinary with the track in question would be the tempo, which is set low compared to many of his previous tracks. Absent Without Leave’s Clouds is sounding very familiar with it’s setting of gentle guitar and drums a sweet little number indeed. Alkin Engineering’s Edge Too Close is superb with serious sub bass, synthetic sounds and reversed strings lingering above. In combination with processed vocals it creates a lot of atmosphere and it’s very nice! Bacanal Intruder’s Archiduque’s guitars and harmonica is oozing of innocence (if there actually is such a thing). Yellow6’s Untitled 2 sees this artist pursue his brand of guitar-based music, as has been the case on many occasions before and always to great effect. Ursula’s Des-Confort shares the familiarity in sound with Clouds by Absent Without Leave and it could be the strong pop-like melodies that reinforce that feeling. Arturowilliamsb’s Rural Memoir is cinematic, acoustic and quite beautiful. Spookboy’s Penny Sanchez flips the script literally and delivers a looped based non-hip hop sounding hip-hop track. Aitänna77’s October 16th sees him continuing treading the path of the 21st century singer-song writer, with this delicately put together track. Dof’s Adverb is hectic in comparison with the forerunners and yet it is a variant of the acoustic exercise s found on A Small Frame of Reference compilation. .tape.’s Numa is beatless and almost entirely based on acoustic guitar. David Newlyn’s Lesson 7 is pensive and the way the tones from a lonely grand piano echoes out into space in a to say the least epic way (it may be of interest that the artist is sharing the identity of October Man Recordings’ founder and owner). Cheju is graced with two contributions to the compilation and the second one Crane-fly is a re-interpretation of one of his own tracks, the ambience is as unmistakable as is the beat. Finally Winterlight’s Swept that concludes this DIY show of force. There’s just one possible problem and that is to find this compilation if you happen to like owning physical copies of your music. This review has been sadly delayed and given that the actual release took place some time last year (2006) and given the sever limitation of any OMR release you’ll probably not be able to obtain a copy. But, hey there’s always the chance of a re-release, you never know. And yes, Winterlight’s Swept is lovely!