Saso - Warmed Up
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Warmed Up
(Melted Snow)

I'll make no asides about it, I root for the little guy. Maybe it's partially my influence for buying so much music on really small labels, but it also helps that the music put out by these small labels is usually much much better than that released by the bigger ones. Since most of the time they probably know that they're not going to sell millions of copies and because they actually care about the music that they release, it's something special, and that makes it the same to me.

There have been many times now where I've gotten the very first release on a small label and then watched that label grow and flourish and I really hope that's the case with Melted Snow Records. A small label out of the UK, it's easy for me to see that they really do care about the music. The first sign is the package design of the disc, which although simple is quite beautiful (much like the music by Saso). While this is just a 5 song EP that clocks in at just under 20 minutes, I really do think (and hope) that this is going to be a label that will gain popularity and continue to release solid material.

Musically, Saso is sort of a cross between Radiohead and a touch of emo music, but it's not like Saso is exactly mimicking the style of either one. They've also got some elements of slowcore groups in their sound and just a smidge of drone. Using a combination of live instrumentation and a touch of very subtle studio manipulation, it's a very slow and assured album, and one that's probably best played late at night when you're winding things down for the day.

After a short, pretty instrumental track comprised of only a mild, droning tone and some treated piano, the disc goes into the first track entitled "I'll Be The Judge Of That." Sounding a bit more grounded with some mild percussion and nice interplay between bass and guitar, quiet vocals drift over things and create a nice, hushed mood while later in the track things get a bit more quiet and a sample plays. The instrumentation of the third track "A Lesson Learnt" actually reminds one of that by Arab Strap, but the light vocals give the track a much more drifting quality. After a bit more meandering track in "Numbskull," the disc closes out with the percussion-less "All My Life." The album reaches it's most ethereal point and finally winds to a close by mixing into the same quiet piano that started the release. After the 20 minutes is up, it feels a bit short, but it does the work that an EP is supposed to do, which is get me really interested in hearing more by the group and on the label.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00