Rural Colorus Subscription Pack 11

If I were to point out one big difference between the experimental music world and the commercial/mainstream music world, it is that the experimental music industry (wow that word has negative connotations these days) takes the utmost care in their releases, makes them personal for the listener and is much more attuned to quality packaging and music than the mainstream music industry. Sure, if you buy a top 40 cd it might have a bonus dvd – but what you don’t get is that personal touch, that sense of locality, the knowledge that someone half way across the world has hand stitched a small pouch to house your tiny cds.

More often than not if you purchase a cd from any number of experimental, non-mainstream labels you will receive an item of high quality and distinction. Which brings me to Rural Colours Subscription Pack 11. By now you are probably no stranger to Rural Colours and you would be well aware of my affection for the small hybrid netlabel/subscription service, but I felt this review like many others I have read required a hyperbolic preamble – I will maintain that my premise is justified and I will explain why.

RCSP11 (as it from now will be known) as you can see comes in a delightful hand stitched 3″ pouch, and within are three 3″ cdr’s accompanied by a small photograph with release details printed on the reverse. The absolute joy of working my way through the package itself  has not dissipated since the first pack I received, and I delight at the prospect of popping each cd into my computer and having to enter in the ID data for each release (normally it would annoy me, but this is all in my routine for a Rural Colours release you see).

Once the tracks are ripped I am ready to set aside all distractions of my day. My thesis ceases to exist, my literature review can wait, and I can sink into another set of three fabulous 20 minute slices of sound. RCSP11 again presents a varied mix of sonic experimentation from long form electronic sounds of Wil Bolton which for me are extremely peaceful and engaging at the same time to the evolving acoustic folk of Ed Cooke which takes the genre to all sorts of experimental boundaries one would never think of. The pack is rounded out by ‘On Sinking’ by Nils Quak, four tracks of avant-garde sounds that require a keen ear to listen for the intricate subtleties of the work.

There is a reason that more and more of my dollars are going to small labels, the labels that take care and pride in their work – and that reason is because there is a mutual respect for the music between the owner and musician. This respect translates into packaging of the utmost care, and ensuring that beautiful music be given the chance to reach people’s ears from around the world.

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