steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Terra Obscura" CD

Topscore USA

Genres: experimental electro, electro, ambient

loam website

Sep 22 - 28 2003

Loam is a new experimental electronic act on the Topscore USA label.  The man behind the music is Jim Warchol, who loves to create abstract soundscapes that frequently maintain melody but only occasionally feature a beat.  Many may be initially turned off by the often sparse nature of the release, but, as soundscapes, the nine pieces on this disc are remarkably solid, especially when listened to in the dark.

"L@dy in my Life" is one of the most interesting tracks on Terra Obscura; it takes virtually unrecognizable samples from the same-named Michael Jackson tune and creates an entirely new piece out of them.  Meanwhile, ambient dronework "Middle Inlet" is atmospheric albeit quite repetitive and "Sol" is a powerful, mind-consoling piece of audio art with a sense of very subtle melody.

When all is said and done, Loam's Terra Obscura is a very strong experimental electronic album. Playing with ambient soundscapes and subtle melody and rhythm, Jim Warchol has created an intensely interesting avant-garde release. Climb into your pod and absorb this.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]