Thursday, January 5, 2012

Br'er And The City of Ice

I just finished reading an article about legendary record label Creation Records and how the relationship between label and fan had changed where labels like Creation would have difficulties existing nowadays. For the most part I think that's true as "the kids," just don't care about labels anymore or the art and process behind running them. It's just more about where you can get the tunes, and how little you have to pay for them. There are exceptions however, and I think Edible Onion is one such label. A quick look at the new release from Br'er demonstrates this as the level of craftsmanship involved in this project is far greater than anything a stupid mp3 could ever hope to convey.

With a hand made sleeve and a gatefold cover the new Br'er album is set up before you even start listening to it. City of Ice is given a "pre-show," if you will before you encounter the music actually on the disc. It's a beautiful stage in which to set up the album and it makes an impression. Once you start listening to City of Ice the package becomes complete as Br'er's stark sonic landscapes come to life and aurally create the picture of a city of ice. It's minimal, slightly atonal, chill stuff that's spooky, haunting, and a bit scary. That being said much of City of Ice is gloriously pretty. From clanged instruments to ghostlike vocals, this is a record where minimalism is maximized and sculpted into something artistically amazing.

With a host of instrumentation that ranges from what sounds like harps to pots and pans and everything in between to the hand made album cover Br'er's album makes an impact in it's physical format that it could never hope to do as digital release. Sometimes, if not most times, the old ways are the best. Music is an experience...not a three minute throwaway piece of collateral. Br'er and Edible Onion have obviously realized this and reward fans with a complete audio and visual experience that's stunning.

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