- Audio CD (May 22 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Kranky
- ASIN: B000008PKY
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
I had my opportunity for redemption when I found A Stable Reference in the used bin at my local record store. I can say with confidence now that every good thing you've heard about this band is true. Since this is the only record of theirs that I own, I can't make any comparisons, but this is one of those records where you can put it, lay on your back and then float up to the ceiling.
This record is different than something like Stars of the Lid because with that band, everything flows and melts into each other. Imagine floating in the dark and not being able to see anything. A Stable Reference is like floating during the day. You're able to see things as you pass because you can hear separate notes being played.
And if that didn't make sense, just get the record and it will. You'll be glad you did.
The tracks on A Stable Reference rely heavily on warm, gliding basslines that guide the development of the songs through the numerous additions and subtractions of elements. And it's this bass that makes this record a very pleasant surprise for anyone who may have thought that Labradford was too ambient.
Where the stripped down beauty of the Prazision LP was all about subtlety, A Stable Reference puts the focus on adding hooks and grooves to the clicks, pops and drones.
Needless to say, though, this is still a Labradford record, so the groove that is present is definitely not the type that will fill a dancefloor, but it will certainly engage the listener and, quite likely, be just the thing to bring Labradford to a new audience.
Somewhere inside those intricate cravesses, cold summer nights on the lake and warm afternoons in the woods, I find this album to be the perfect companion. You launch into different things (your own outer space) with the title track, "Mas" and then float into a landscape fresh and new filled with great things in "El Lago" which tunes in a slpit second into the deep, beautiful, tearful track of "Streamlining," which allows us to stare at the stars from a canoe in the nighttime.
"Banco" whips in at track 4 with a NEW day feeling which eventually drops COMPLETELY into a world of dark flaming spookiness in the opposite track, "Eero." As that drones in and out "Balanced on its own Flame," comes in as sort of a NEW level or chapter allowing us to submerge in the new world as track 7's "Star City, Russia" almost completely duplicates the preceding.
"Comfort" shines through the windows in track 8 and then drops us back into insanity with its ending piece, "Sedr77." I listen to this album almost as much as I do with the Prazision LP.
Other great discs to check out for MORE outer world music is Stars of the Lid's "Ballasted Orchestra," "Tired Sounds," or "Gravitational Pull vs. The Desire for an Aquatic Life." Labradford have some other terrific mind music albums available from kranky.net and I love and own all of them. BUY "A Stable Reference," its really a shame nobody's reviewed such a fine album yet.