Published Nov 13, 2018In 2017, RVNG Intl. launched a new sub-label called Freedom to Spend. The imprint was actually a re-boot of a fledgling endeavour started by Pete Swanson (Yellow Swans) to release his own work. Swanson connected with the folks behind RVNG, along with drummer Jed Bindeman, to take the label in a broader direction, to unearth "autonomous anomalies produced by musicians working within and outside the limits of technology to create intimate art." The collective's inaugural release was Eye Chant, a reissued cassette from American synthesist Michele Mercure, a relatively obscure artist who channelled kosmische electronics through her own autodidactic lens.
This time around, RVNG Intl chose to share the credit for Beside Herself, a lovingly compiled career retrospective of Mercure's self-produced cassette releases, with Freedom to Spend. Originally concocted between 1983 and 1990, the works unveiled herein span a variety of oblique modes that sit somewhere on the spectrum between commercial electronic pop and outright unorthodox experimentalism.
The material explores vast realms of electronic music, from minimal drum machine and synth skeletons to mutant funk reveries, sample-filled electro workouts and near-ambient soundscapes. The entirety of Mercure's singular universe is on display, and it would be forgiven if one were to get lost inside this evocative patch of rediscovered sonic territory. (RVNG Intl.)