This Week's Public Picks: Public Entities by Various Artists

by / Feb. 13, 2018 6pm EST

Compilation: Public Entities by Various Artists

Recommended if you like: Fennesz, Tim Hecker, Oneohtrix Point Never 

A massive compilation of 78 tracks titled Public Entities was released by the Buffalo-based record label Value Exchange this week. The compilation album, which features almost as many original artists as there are tracks, is the 14th release by the record label in its first year of existence. Compiled by record label head Empathic Window, the compilation features mostly ambient and noise music tracks. Found sounds, static, eerie low volume synthesizer tones, and highly warped samples permeate the record.

The compilation oscillates in tone from David Lynchian levels of eeriness (“Supply Side Theology” by 80’s Horns) to austerity (“akrotiri” by Drake), hypnogogia, (“Bunny Habit” by Baby Daddy), maddening hyperpop (“Circles in the Parking Lot” by GMO Sharia Law), chaos (“Suicide Epiphany” by Cese & Desit), sublimity (“Sunrise On Day Three” by James Shain), absurdity (“Scuba” by Nuclear Starship), eroticism (“Sexfish2” by Seiei Jack), and vaguely meditative (“Padma” by Tavishi).

Most tracks play more like mini vignettes than songs, and despite the dozens of artists featured, there’s an astounding sense of cohesion throughout created by a mixture of lo fi sound qualities, ambient structures, and spacious sound design.

Tracks range in length from 32 seconds to over 36 minutes. With a total run time of over nine hours, it’s clearly not meant for listening to continuously in one sitting (lest the listener experience some kind of Clockwork Orange-esque mind-softening effect), but seems to exist rather as more of a time capsule or official document. Stream Public Entities for free on Bandcamp or buy the album for whatever price you choose to pay.