[sic] Magazine

Various Artists – These Clouds…

Various Artists – These Clouds…. (Sound In Silence compilation)

Sound In Silence is a lovely, boutique record label run out of Athens, Greece by its founder, George Mastrokostas. They tend to favour all manner of downtempo, ambient, IDM and drone compositions drawing in artists from all around the world. These Clouds… is the labels 100th release. As such it was compiled especially to celebrate the milestone. The labels debut release was titled These Waves… so this new release closes a kind of narrative loop as well as marking the occasion.

At 18 tracks and 80 minutes long you get plenty of bang for your buck, albeit bangs of the most languid kind. The artists involved comprise Panoptique Electrical, Sven Laux, Yellow6, The Green Kingdom, Benoît Pioulard, Wil Bolton, David Newlyn, Akira Kosemura, Halftribe, A Lily, SineRider, Absent Without Leave, Hotel Neon, worriedaboutsatan, r beny, Jakob Lindhagen, The Humble Bee, and Hainbach.. It reads as a veritable Who’s Who of ambient composers. The lovely Absent Without Leave is actually Georges own project and we have featured many of these artists here at [sic] Magazine at one time or another. It’s a nebulous community of artists that admire, appreciate (and remix) each others work. Another ‘scene that celebrates itself’, if you like. Mastrokostas is a producer of some renown and often helms the recording of many of his labels releases.

The other wonderful thing about Sound In Silence is the ‘handmade’ aspect. Each of the labels physical releases is a limited edition, hand printed/numbered, often slip cased with a print and a code for download as well as the disc itself. They are things of beauty that take me back to the halcyon days of post rock and IDM where homemade became the Noughties equivalent of the Eighties indie label scene. I started doing reviews at much the same time and it has always been a magical moment when a new Sound In Silence release arrives.

As well as being a celebration, this compilation is also a nice way of discovering other artists for the listener. People often pick up a compilation because of one artists inclusion only to fall under the spell of another. It happened to me here. Already a fan of The Green Kingdom, Yellow6, Absent Without Leave, Wil Bolton and others, I fell hard for penultimate track ‘Small Copper’ by the, as yet, unknown to me, The Humble Bee. The music is lovely throughout this collection. Going track by track would be folly. The album is exactly what you might expect from such a consistently high quality label. Here’s the perfect entry point for newcomers. Buy one, hold it in your hands, fetishize it and feel welcome to an exclusive gathering, a club known as Sound In Silence. Just act fast because fans of all those artists mentioned will doubtless be ordering one as we speak.