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May 12, 2008 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Album Review: Snowfield – Oblivious Errors, Poor Execution

Snowfield, a.k.a. Alexander Wilson, is, according to his Myspace page, a “minimalist/hardcore/electro group”. Wilson started out as Snowfield in 2006 when he played at the first Craftwerk Craft Party as a solo noise band. The first thing I noticed about this album was the artwork; it’s pretty good. The second noticeable thing about this album was the honesty of its title. It really does have obvious errors and poor execution. Really poor.

I’m pretty sure I am going to be accused of slating this album unfairly and misunderstanding its artistic value or something. But I think I have a pretty good case to work with. I mean, I really like music that some might consider obscure and inaccessible – Mum (while not mentioned in Snowfield’s list of influences, it appears to me that there was a strong attempt to mimic their sound on this album) and Godspeed! You Black Emperor, bands that require some patience when getting into. However, Obvious Errors, Poor Execution, it seems, will be difficult for even the keenest listeners to get into.

It’s hard to call most of the tracks songs. Mostly they rely solely on one instrument. Sometimes he uses piano, sometimes guitar, sometimes harmonica, or sometimes a drum machine, but these are rarely used in conjunction with one another and rarely last longer than thirty seconds, making many of the tracks sound more like quickly-recorded tests. I can picture a recording engineer sitting behind his mixing desk saying something like “ok, give me a bit of the guitar so I can make sure the reverb is the way it should be.” But that is not a song. In the tracks that do incorporate more than one instrument and vocals (approximately five out of fifteen) there is something reminiscent of a song but the vocals are off-key and sound like someone who is afraid of singing and are therefore difficult to listen to.

While this album is a good starting point for ideas, or riffs, or bits that could eventually form some songs, the way it is currently presented makes for a laborious listen.


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Comments (3)

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  1. Brunswick says:

    I’m afraid the irony of the typo in your article heading is palpable.

  2. Sean says:

    just for the record that wasn’t my typo.

  3. Brunswick says:

    Spank the subeditors!

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