Review: Behind the Console with Comfort Link (Hologram, May 11)

Recently, the Miami-based HologramLabel has put out a good amount music that shares a loose but recognizable aesthetic, well exemplified by the recognizable names that have recently appeared in the catalog like Church Shuttle, TVE, and The Glass Path. The latter’s release was one of my favorites last year, and the recycled LP packaging sums up what’s going on; this is music that feels cobbled together, repurposed, salvaged from degrading tapes of synth jams or industrial clatter, garage sale ephemera, forgotten memories. Comfort Link’s newly released Behind the Console also occupies a similar vein, loops and concrete sounds and samples and nostalgia spun together into uneasy dreamworlds. At times, the album leans toward the abstractness of aforementioned releases, but at others, like the somber conclusion of “Londonderry Air,” it finds more common ground with the warbly bliss of Vision Board. There’s more diversity even beyond that as well; lengthy opener “On Time in Time” sputters and cycles in mechanical movement while organ patches are triggered like some sort of roughshod sound installation, “Ebb Tide” embodies its titular motion with an evolving tape loop that resolves in soft beauty, “Caravan” concludes things with yet more organ, this time shaped into layers of interlocking, harmonizing rhythmic throbs. A masterful piece of makeshift minimalism.

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