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Scale compilation: For lovers of instrumental variety

Bigo & Twigetti‘s Scale compilation record is a fascinating, highly enjoyable work. It covers a wide range of instrumental territory but never compromises on quality. I’m a fan of more melodic instrumental work than dissonant work, so I was drawn to the softer side of the release: Jameson Nathan Jones’ “Continuum” is a beautiful work that stretches the bounds of choral, electronic, classical, and ambient music; “To Learn and Grow” by Philip G Anderson and Laura Masotto is a mysterious wintry walk for piano and violin; and “Ode” by Klangriket creates ambient work out of what sounds like a harmonium and found sounds.

It’s not all uncomplicatedly beautiful things. “Disproportionate Joys” by William Ryan Fritch is both elegant and abrasive, if such a thing is possible–the music-box delicacy is contrasted by sharp, shearing noises that give an unusual, interesting feel to the work. Fiona Brice’s “Past Present” is intense and disquieting, with dissonance, repetition, and doppler-effect crescendoes/decrescendoes that inspire a sense of dread. There are others in this darker, more challenging vein as well (the landscapes of “Koexistenz” by Jonas Meyer, the analog synths of “Deep Forest” by Luca Longobardi).

But it’s the beautiful that I am drawn to most on this collection, and the last five of the 17-track collection have some of the most lovely work: piano excellence (“Symmetry” by Garreth Broke, “Falling Stars” by Matt Stewart-Evans, “Forgotten” by Marika Takeuchi, “Sum and Part” by Nathan Shubert) and a final long, sweeping, sci-fi-tinged synths piece (“0.000628 Light Years” by Yehezkel Raz) provide an excellent parting shot of roughly 25 minutes.

There’s a credit to compilers of this collection not only in the high quality of the pieces included here, but also the excellent sequencing; the album flows in a lovely manner, even through the more dissonant pieces. It feels like a real album, not a haphazard collection of pieces thrown together. That’s very hard to do. If you’re into instrumental pieces, you should definitely check out Scale from Bigo & Twigetti.