- West Mineral Ltd was set up earlier this year as an outlet for "mid-ground music." Untitled, the label's second release, is a fine example of what that means. uon's tracks are described as "three different behaviours of water cut into wax." Rather than experiencing these ambient pieces passively, as you might do in a museum courtyard or a contemporary art gallery, the music asks for a deeper commitment. "Solaris," for example, is a reassuring, womb-like immersion in viscous chords sustained for the entire 17 minutes. It simulates a kind of virtual reality that's hard to pull away from.
uon's other records have surfaced in the last couple years as closely related hybrids of dub techno and ambient. (A cassette with music from him and Pendant, who runs West Mineral Ltd, now trades for about £70.) Those records—particularly last year's Zlo—were good, but what makes Untitled special is the extraordinarily evocative production. "J" is another excellent example. It's essentially dub techno with chords that sound like water chopped up by rotor blades. A small yet crucial detail—a crisp, reverb-free shaker—gives the rhythm a sharper focal point. (Imagine an illustrator turning a line-drawn blob into a ghost by adding two dots.) "Bus" takes inspiration from further below the surface. Sonar pings and sloshing currents suggest deep sea isolation, but the sound design is so inviting that you might think of it as a shelter.