Two highly limited collections issued via Fragment Editions, a new sub-label connected to the excellent Hands In The Dark stable. For the most part, we're in familiar HITD territory, with Renaud Bajeux and Mike Majkowski both performers/composers plucked from the ever-regenerating European avant garde and blessed with an impressive grasp of minimalist aesthetics. All things considered, Bajeux is something of a newcomer, Seeking A Vision his second record, and there's certainly traces of exuberance amidst what is a generally refined palette. Across these four tracks he allies the textural qualities of the Serge synthesiser with a range of nature-based field recordings, creating something akin to weathering a storm in a house balanced on a cliff's edge, not too dissimilar to Kali Malone's The Sacrificial Code at times. So yes, heavy-weather drone with an elemental thrust, made for ice fields and seascapes and for anyone with winter in their heart.
By contrast, Mike Majkowski, a Berlin-based artist from Sydney, is on his eleventh solo record with Four Pieces, and his music feels much more plugged into the pulse of a city than it does nature. Given his background as a double bassist, I'm sure Majkowski comes from a more formal tradition of sound design/composition, but there's more than a trace-element of minimal techno in tracks like Drift that recall the restrained yet eerie approach of later period O Yuki Conjugate, Civistijavel or Werkbund. In fact, Four Pieces often sounds like a blown up version of that excellent Gewissen record from earlier in the year, fogged and shadowed in sonorous digital mist. Both serious pieces of music in their own rights, but taken as a pair represent a great opening one-two from a new imprint. Editions of 100, sold out at source.