2 out of 5
Produced by: Matt Colton (mastered by)
What’s here is interesting, but it’s also so, so slight. I mean, I guess that’s ‘buyer beware’ for a limited edition soundtrack to a 7-minute short film, but the presentation of this (pricing aside – that’s on me; I footed the bill) just doesn’t feel right, and that’s affecting my rating.
Assessing Mica Levi’s score for the animated Delete Beach, it’s very much in the minimalistic vein of her other soundtrack work, but even more disparate. The main theme – which is presented three times, with Japanese from, I’m presuming, the film; with English from the same; and as an instrumental – is really more like super short vignettes of electronically dusted atmospherics. It’s listenable, for sure, but its scattered nature doesn’t make it memorable beyond curiosity; I suspect it’s better served as what it’s supposed to be: accompaniment to a film, as opposed to a standalone listen.
The two interludes, put between the three versions of this theme, are much more cohesive, wending loose beats to repeated keyboard lines and effects. But without much runtime (and thus more music) to prop these up against, they can only go so far.
So that’s that, and if I’d purchased this digitally, or if, perhaps, it came on a single LP, fair enough – I bought it to add to a Mica Levi collection, and there’re definitely interesting ideas niggled in here. However, having this split across two 10″ LPs feels… I dunno, showy. Artsy. Which I guess isn’t out of line for Mica’s work, but it just frustrated me as a listening experience, when it’s clear that even the sides of the 10″s aren’t fully filled out, and I’m flipping between vinyl just to hear the same song with translated audio clips (when, really, just the instrumental – essentially what I’m after – would be just fine). The booklet doesn’t add much. It’s nicely printed, with full-page color stills I presume are from the short, but, y’know, that’s it. I guess you can look at it while listening and approximate watching it, and no, I don’t know what else I would want in the booklet, but it adds to the vibe of the two LP jive: stretching material out to justify packaging it as physical media.
Also personal pet peeve: I have to look at the runouts to tell which sides are A, B, C, and D. Just print it on the label somewhere, kids.