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43 Sequences from Today’s Future (MP3s)

The excellent electronica site futuresequence.com has compiled the second of its massive, overstuffed collections of alternately ethereal and unnerving sound. Sequence2, as the album is titled, collects some 43 tracks by numerous musicians who will be familiar to readers of this site (among these contributors being Nils Quak, the Oo-ray, Nobuto Suda, Guy Birkin, and Specta Ciera), and there are many more who will provide welcome new experiences. The sheer amount of music can be overwhelming, so what follows are five favorites drawn from the collection. It is intended not so much as a list of sure-fire “best tracks,” and more as a tool to navigate the embarrassment of riches by highlighting touchstones of its variety. (Sequence1 had 42 tracks, and was released earlier this year.)

Rhian Sheehan‘s “Liber” (track 2) is one of many dawn-break efforts in widescreen ambience here, and it is distinguished by its pizzicato texturing. Beautiful Bells‘s “Panic Attack 2” (track 10) has the muted future-jazz horn of an early Ben Neill. The sing-song nature of Josh Mason‘s “Freedom Time” (track 37) sounds like Brian Eno’s career in reverse, as if elegant pop experiments were slowly emerging from ambient explorations. Like Sheehan’s track, Zvuku‘s “Cold” (track 6) willfully jeopardizes its softness, here with not only what appear to be rough field recordings, but also modulations that seem take the apparent softness and manipulate it like the raw material it is. Thisquietarmy‘s “Aeronaut” (track 33) might be termed 8bit drone, at least for stretches of its admonitory run.

Get the full set at futuresequence.bandcamp.com. More on the Sequence2 project at futuresequence.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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