Please note The Portable Archive has now sold out from Boomkat, the remaining few copies are available to order directly by emailing sub (dot) loam (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk
The Portable Archive reissues three volumes of Thomas
Shrubsole’s humbly absorbing ambient studies/contemplations on soil
dynamics, which were recorded as Sub Loam and originally released on the
cult Cotton Goods label between 2009-2010, and are now teamed with an
equivalent amount of unreleased pieces made over the same period. Big
Recommendation if you followed the Cotton Goods label, or if you're into
the ambient side of works by Move D, Jan Jelinek, To Rococo Rot etc.
First and foremost it’s lovely to be immersed back into the
project, whose naturally textured and decaying structures emerged as
quietly as they dissolved back at the turn of this decade, finding good
company amidst the rustle and hum of Cotton Goods and, in a way, could
be said to preempt the focus of FIS’ research in similar, if noisier,
rugged terrain on his From Patterns to Details album.
No mistake, though; Sub Loam’s music is endearingly tactile
and better defined by its textured, nuanced fidelity: Shrubsole handles
his material like an environmental researcher or botanist making
sketches on his rambles, offering poetic observations on the
interactions of organic matter with “ditches, hedgerows, alleys, pavements and hill tops”
modelled with an electro-acoustic palette and tape loops that quietly
represent his subject’s subterranean root systems and intuitive sprawl
in a series of concentric spirals and microtonal whorls.
Within his chloro-centric weltanschauung, Sub Loam divines the music of “rhythmic footfall, creeping rootstock, vaporous billows, transformational marginalia”
in an esoteric yet tangible way that should sweetly resonate with
anyone who appreciates the ebb and flow or warp and weft of nature on
the smaller scales, as well as its larger form landscapes, and who can
appreciate the same within the parameters of ambient music.
A beautiful package.