Clumsy rhetorical question department: how many artists feature in both FACT's top 20 mixes of the year & disquiet's 10 ambient/electronica albums of 2009? Answer: just the one, of course - though it/he operates under multiple names...
(...& was featured here previously under a fair few of them).
Nomenclature aside, though, The Village Orchestra/TVO's unique appearance in two such contrasting lists (each stuffed with goodness, mind) underlines how much of a hinterland there is to Ruaridh Law's music - without even getting into his past with the underappreciated Marcia Blaine School for Girls & other projects. One part Drexciya homage-paying techno-lord (both as DJ & artist), one part electronica ground-breaker & one part open-eared adventurer into drone & even noise, his epic Coil to Lil' Louis FACT mix (archived here) exemplifies this uncommon breadth.
So too does the mix's reception. Besides the obvious sources, it won more unexpected appreciation from The Onion AV Club & - yes, really - The New Yorker...
Below, an attempt to capture that breadth (also evident in Ruaridh's judgement on this year's mixes: "a shame so few strayed outside niche genre confines") via a few recent releases - key among them an alternate edit of Tober that must rank as one of the most satisfying takes on dub techno in an age (something to do with this version's electronica roots refreshing an increasingly predictable genre, perhaps? Compare Marcia's The Ratio, also below...).
Also included: an extract from the "deathly beautiful journey into sound processing and manipulation" of I Can Hear the Sirens Singing (featuring a host of collaborators, including yesterday's post subject Erstlaub)
Finally, get ready for Ruaridh & (another HPLL-related Sirens participant) Production Unit's Past Papers: "an mp3 label of sorts, releasing archive material from Marcia history and eventually new slants on past releases."
The Village Orchestra/TVO > Non-euclidian (from The Starry Wisdom, Highpoint Lowlife) > Tober [alternate edit] (from The Dark is Rising, Stuff) > I Can Hear the Sirens Singing [extract] (from I Can Hear the Sirens Singing, Highpoint Lowlife)
BONUS: The Marcia Blaine School for Girls > The Ratio (from Magnetism, That Electricity..., Highpoint Lowlife) [re-up]