Simply subtitled "Short Stories by 310," "Nothing To See Here" lives up to its name as a series of short tracks culled from processed field recordings of waves crashing, creaking floors, crickets, Southern gospel call-and-response choirs, distant church bells, feet shuffling across a dishevelled floor, and a whole bunch of other very discreet sounds. Instead of their usual post-rock / electronica (ala Fridge or Four Tet) 310 offers a sound quite similar in feel to Stars Of The Lid with dreamy fluctuations of synthetic sound, tremolo vibrations and ambient swish. Nice.
Subtitled 'Short Stories By 310', this odd release will be unusual among all 310 projects before or after. 'Nothing To See Here' is total ambient material from this Leaf Label duo, no beats, no percussion, simply hardcore dark drift and cinematic sampling mixed in to truly make each track feel like a short story. 310 has released four sucessful albums on Leaf. This album is also unique because of the packaging: each disc is in a matte black folding jacket with an authentic black and white family photograph affixed to the front with old-fashioned picture corners. No two photographs will be the same.
A magnificent disc, definitely one of the best releases of the year and a killer beginning for this manifold side label. Like Jeph Jerman, Melek-Tha, and Tear Ceremony eating some acid and jamming on some invisible horrifying groove; dark ambient that makes the mind move, with original sampling and great minimal melodies using various sounds as instruments. Excellent.
The majority of NYC duo 310's catalog has been released by the UK's Leaf label, part of the Post Everything collective, but this disc is the debut from Manifold sub label Desolat Recordings. Desolat's manifesto is simple and spot on: "dark > drifting > textures > no beats". The pre title "Short Stories by" is equally apt and, along with the unique b/w photo circa the 1950's affixed to every cover, further describes the mysterious character of this particular release. Fifteen untitled tracks, most 3 minutes or less, creepy crawl out of strangers' family albums, films and subconscious minds.
There is something to see here in most every piece, though it's often difficult to tell just what it is and when and where it took place exactly. All sorts of hazy, sampled found sounds - movement, footsteps, church bells, traffic, rain, crickets, background conversation, occasional spoken words and utterances, etc. - and (some presumably appropriated) music are mixed with ambient drifts and left to loop. The effect is highly cinematic, the aftereffect like an out of body experience ...
A moving and chilling succession of short, untitled tracks in total drifting ambient style, each delivering the listener into the realm of some dark, unsettling black and white film. The characters are all nameless, shrouded, incomplete, the threats are formless, black and insidious. Like some psychotic nightmare in a mystery writers mind, we creep along the moors, the misty backalleys of London, the haunted woods back home. Nothing To See Here is heavy on the cinematic samplings, the tension looped into an alchemy of light, grey textures and fervent, disconnected pronunciations from the rear.
Every CD has an original, individual photograph fixed to the front by old-timey picture corners, sort of like a tiny, strange family album, full of ghosts and sad noise.