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Beats from Typeface

A year-long project begins on the SM-LL label

Tis the season for annual resolutions, such as the beginning of year-long series of creative works. The label SM-LL, based in London, is up to such an endeavor with its monthly Typeface digital releases, which are being posted on Bandcamp, along with a limited-release set of 10″ pressings. Typeface is a project of Martin J Thompson, who “takes inspiration from various practices and ideas around his interest in typography.” That’s according to the brief note that accompanied a 2014 release by Thompson on the SM-LL label, Default 0004. That two-track release took kerning, the adjustment of spaces between letters, as its subject and inspiration. The first of the 2017 Typeface releases has no such stated thematic source or inspiration. What it is is two tracks, the first (title: “01-24”) kinetic and minimal, occasionally shifting, but in a manner that serves to reinforce the sense of permanence of the major theme. The second (“02-24”) is more rubbery and bouncy, with that elastic sound that suggests early IDM, and snare-like accents that are delightfully synthetic. To the extent that the B-side has variations, they are in very slight adjustments of a secondary, quieter accent below the main rhythm. They’re more evident when you move back and forth amid the track to check individual instances than they are recognizable as the track unfolds in glacial realtime. It’s likely that the overall Typeface series will unfold this year as a sequence of slight variations. Something to look forward to.

Originally posted at sm-ll.bandcamp.com. More from SM-LL at sm-ll.com. Thompson/Typeface co-runs SM-LL with his wife, Lucia H Chung, whose work has been featured on Disquiet.com recently. They are based in London.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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