What makes for the best small labels? A clear identity, enthusiastic curation, independence and endurance are good for starters. Well Difficult Art And Music (DAAM) gives you all of these plus heaps of creative ambition. Focusing steadfastly on the experimental and specialising as they say in ‘short-run, research-orientated, art-objects’ DAAM releases come as music tapes, magazines, photobooks, composition scores, you name it, in various intriguing combinations.
Active since 2021 their cassettes have captured Brexit-themed audio-collages, an exploration of Drone in all its guises, a lost 80’s synth horror TV soundtrack from the Faroe Islands and the unpacking of male post-partum by the doom pop duo ‘Be Kind Cadaver’ (reviewed on BSM back in August). Now comes news of their most expansive project so far, ‘bivouac of the avant-garde: contemporary minimal, electronic and experimental music’, a three volume compilation surveying today’s vibrant international fringe scene. Releasing one volume digitally each month from 31st October, the culmination of the project will see the whole series issued as a triple cassette box-set on December 23rd – so leave room on your Santa list.
To reel you in further the sample tracks from Volume 1 highlight how bold and bountiful the whole collection will be. From J.Lynch’s fractured collage of dub and improv (‘For Horns, Piano and Snare’) to Arvik Torrenssen’s tingling synth and sonar watershed (‘Yksitoista’), from Moray Newland’s fluttering electronic drone (‘The Life And Death Of A Moth’) to Wound’s symphonic melodicism (‘Dreamdrop’), this is music to entice and intrigue, sounds to challenge and cheer. As the darkness of winter descends the ‘bivouac of the avant-garde’ compilation offers an ideal shelter, a place where you can lose yourself.
You can pre-order ‘bivouac of the avant-garde Vol. 1’ and the triple tape box-set (Vol. 1, 2 and 3) from: https://difficultartandmusic.bandcamp.com/album/bivouac-of-the-avant-garde-contemporary-minimal-electronic-and-experimental-music-vol-1