A pure representative of what can be done with less, Toshimaru Nakamura has got an incredible amount of mileage out of the simple innovation of plugging a mixer into itself. Much of that is due to his ability to find complementary collaborators with whom to improvise. This recording with Los Angeles-based sound artist Mark Trayle is another example of the fruits of such precise interactions.
With Trayle on laptop, the duo create a suite of three contemplative performances, each rich with an interplay between fine, sinuous, high-pitched tone and a thick, grounded granularity. These two layers share a beautiful lightness, despite their origins in machine and software feedback. The pleasure in listening to this type of music is the pure articulation of textured sound that flits into existence and quickly furrows into your ears. This recording delivers an austere bounty of such sound forms, placed elegantly in a remarkable blend of two focused artistic imaginations. 
In contrast, Basque musician Miguel A. Garcia’s album of solo mixing-board compositions creates a hermetic and minimalist soundscape. The intensely fragile sounds that he coaxes out of his board require very close listening to catch all the subtle details. This is also the album’s one drawback, as the occasional sudden increases in volume can cause painful transitions. If you attune yourself to the vagaries of volume inherent in the album, you find a beautiful series of compositions that reflect a very different approach to Nakamura’s, despite the similarities of instrumentation.