Norway?s Miasmah label is only at catalogue number four but it has already made a name for itself as one of the finest addresses for neo-classical electronics. The label is run by Deaf Center?s Erik K. Skodvin (aka Svarte Greiner, inventor of ?acoustic doom?), which gives a pretty good idea of the label?s synaesthetic approach and of the quality of its releases.
With albums like Encre?s ?Plexus II? and Greg Haines? ?Slumber Tides? under its belt, the label?s success comes neither surprising nor undeserved. Miacd 004, Rafael Anton Irisarri?s ?Daydreaming?, may be the label?s strongest moment to date, with seven piano-based tracks that are elaborated into heavily texturized cinematic narratives.
Admittedly, there?s a whole host of young musicians these days using classical instruments and composition techniques (think Encre, Goldmund, Hauschka, Marcus Fjellstr?m or Greg Haines). However, if the releases of these musicians-composers remain as beautiful and engaging as they have been so far, there can be nothing wrong with that.
Seattle-based Irisarri is working as a sound engineer and running Kupei Musika, a dancefloor label. On ?Daydreaming?, however, he explores a somewhat darker ? and arguably more complex ? side of his musical disposition. Irisarri, who cites Mahler, Debussy and Ravel as influences, combines rustling static, haunting piano melodies, a gleeful slide guitar and at times even glitchy synthesizer sounds to evoke a Lynchian otherworldliness. ?Lumberton?, the album?s standout track, explicitly makes this connection as its title refers to the setting of Blue Velvet. Less memorable than Badalamenti?s soundtracks for Lynch, it?s the deliberately placed imperfections that make ?Daydreaming? genuinely uncanny and set it apart from other, more accessible releases in the genre. 7/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (15 May, 2007)