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Verdant Recordings Presents “Less Popular Than Cats” - VR010 2x12

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I wanna start this review by giving a big salut to the boss man Andy Green who's the driving force behind Verdant Recordings. An avid collector and a knowledgable fella, he always knows how to surprise the fans of VR with something different with each release he curates. He brings 4 top notch artists for Verdant Recordings 010 and what a treat it is! Not only the 4 artists on display here are at the top of their game for a while now, but he manages to bring a different side of their usual output which is twice as fun. Less Popular Than Cats is also a brave release by giving each artist a full LP side each to express themselves over 20’ of a single cut on 2 x 12’ release. All tracks are untitled only identified by their creator.

Side A starts with Reedale Rise’s 20 minutes and 13 seconds ambient heaven through hazy shores, rising suns, misty evenings, a little bit of Spacetime Continuum as well and i can hear it all and picture it clearly in my head . Its like Simon consequently merged 4 different pieces of music into one final theatrical piece that leaves you speechless. Definitely has all the Reedale Rise trademark sounds but slowed down, echoed and washed over our ears like soothing water on a warm day.

B side’s o.utlier piece reminds me of Nest. The 19 minutes 34 seconds piece is infused with sweet melancholy, it sounds like a post-apocalyptic distant harbour where the only human light from the top of the tower is transmitted through sound to give hope to those who survived the harbingers of death. Immersive atmospheres that keep the suspense until the very end.

Jo Johnson's 19 minutes and 52 seconds piece of brilliantly crafted ambience forms side C. I hear early Pete Namlook in this one. Whole piece plays out like a dusted out sound-tape from an old forgotten civilisation re-framed for future generations to adapt and sonically ingest. It sparks with hope, keeping you on the edge, very thought provoking, like a hazy future reflected in a water bucket that's constantly in motion.

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Finally, side D starts with someone i’m yet to get familiar with (although there are some rumours the producer already appeared on VR). Romanticise The World’s 22 journey sound like it was made by someone who's definitely been around the glory days of 90s ambient. A remembrance of the halcyon days of proper ambient music. The piece starts slowly but evocatively, tempering the frequencies of life, transmitting a sonic and unique vision of some distant future. Great little melodies bounce off a concave surface creating a cascade of positive emotions. An array of sounds inter-looping each other to create a familiar feeling like when you know someone, a smiling atmosphere that hardly you can get bored of! And what a way to close this masterpiece of a record.

LPTC is best listened from start to finish so you can get the whole idea of what Andy and each artist was trying to achieve and appreciate the effort once you let the music sink in. Its refreshing to hear slower paced music amidst all the electronic music that's been released today hitting that 126+ bpm market. And hopefully this is just the start of bringing back Chill Out rooms and the sound that was transmitted from those rooms back then.

Reviewed By: Mihail P