In a fairly short amount of time, Type Records has made a pretty good name for itself with a slew of excellent releases from artists mixing traditional instrumentation with electronics. In the past year, they'd put out great releases from Khonnor, Julien Neto, and Ryan Teague, and they show no sign of slowing up. Midaircondo is their newest release, a trio of Swedish females who originally got together to knit (awesome!) and realized they all had similar ideas for creating improvisational electro-acoustic music. Shopping For Images is the debut from the trio and it calls to mind work from the likes of Bjürk and MMúmm.
With all three women contributing vocals, as well as laptops (along with split contributions on saxophone and flute), the release touches on work by several different artists but still sounds unique due to the sound sources. The disc actually opens with two more avant garde pieces, with "Eva Stern, Shake It" mingling lingering sax tones with electronic blips and whispered vocals while "Could You Please Stop" shuffles along with a looping upright bass sample and buzzing electronics that wind over the top of repetitive, overlapping breathy vocals.
"Serenade" finds the group entering into much more poppy territory as a looped piano melody plays out under soulfull vocals and sustained flute tones as chopped up percussion lingers underneath but never quite gels together. In places, the group pulls off sort of a torch-song feel with cabaret-style vocals, despite the sometimes weird sonic backdrops. On "Sorry", both saxophone and flute purr over clanging electronic programming and static while "Faces" mixes accordion and saxophone in glitchy ways that help to punctuate the vocal lines even more.
At other times, the trio seems to mine similar ground as many other artists, as on "Who's Playing" and "Lo-Fi Love." On the former, cut-up and filtered glockenspiel creates a pretty, but ultimately fairly uneventful instrumental track while the latter meanders through about three different sections of squiggling electronic filtering, getting less and less focused (and interesting) as the track progresses. In all, the album definitely shows potential from the trio, but feels a bit redundant in places as well.