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Archival Microsonic MP3s

When is a netlabel not a netlabel? When its first releases largely predated the term’s rise in popularity, and when those occasional at best releases appear less as virtual albums than as unexpected epistles in sound from exotic lands, all of which is to say: when the label’s name is “term,” the free-download arm of the 12k Records, which is run by musician Taylor Deupree.

Just up is a three-track set, 0/the/r, by 0/r, the act consisting of Nosei Sakata (aka *0) in collaboration with Richard Chartier. Each of the tracks is taken from an out-of-print collection. Thus, while meatspace record labels are increasingly hip to using free MP3s as a loss leader to attract potential customers, term is employing it as an archival technology.

The first entry, “trackb” (MP3), taken from a 2004 edition of Contemporary Music Review, has a spongy feel, with springy sounds fluctuating below a high-pitched wave (caution: the wave can be irritating, the aural equivalent of burning the skin on the top of your mouth with a hot slice of pizza). The second, “untitled…” (MP3), off Minima-List (List, 2002), is an exercise in microsonic stereoscopic play, with tiny pitter patters and short bursts of sounds threading around in 3D space. And the third, “untitled” (MP3), from Between Two Points, released in 2001 on 12k, makes the second track sound utterly mellifluous by comparison, so blank is this one’s canvas. The delicacy of these latter two is quite striking. More info at 12k.com/term.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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