DJ Olive – Balm


DJ OLIVE (Gregor Asch, aka The Audio Janitor) has been around for quite a while.
He was a founding member of WE (TM), originator of the illbientgenre tag – but his musical scope obviously is much broader than “just” ambient music. He has been working with people like turntablist Christian Marclay, Ikue Mori, Kim Gordon, Yuka Honda and Jim O’Rourke. His latest release,Thwis, featuring vocalist Honeychild Coleman, is a collection of electronic dub tracks. But that is not the release I want to talk about here and now (since it’s not exactly ‘ambient’).
For now, I want to focus on his Balmrelease: presented as “a collection of Sleeping Pills”.

Balm is a remarkable collection: thirty-eight (38!) tracks, totalling 4 hours and 15 minutes, tracks that are indeed perfect, eh…, Sleeping Pills.
And since they are intended to be just that, this is in fact a true compliment.

These tracks were originally created for three albums released on the Room 40 label: Sleep (which was a re-release from a 2001 original), Buoy, and Triage.
These albums features single, long-form tracks, of which Balmpresents the building blocks: “different versions, outtakes, alternate takes, lost and found songs, brother and sister to the ones which appear on the sleeping pill mixtapes. There are also a few extra songs which almost made it on the sleeping pills included here.”

This collection may be an ‘Insomniacs Dream’, because of it’s consistent mood and atmosphere – it may indeed help you fall asleep. But, on the other hand, I had no trouble at all listening to the full collection in one continuous run without getting bored, probably because DJ Olive avoids the most obvious trap of presenting “just” drone tracks, and offers enough variation within his self-imposed limitations of being sleepy.

Basically, the collection is offered at the (fairly ridiculous) price of CAD 11.11 (EUR 8.30). But if you have some more to spend and/or prefer something physical, you also have the choice to buy this collection on a USB memory stick, or even obtain your own hand painted personal Sleeping Pill selection on a CDR, personally mixed into a continuous mix by DJ Olive himself.
How’s that for a collector’s item?!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *