Album: RH-8SB
Artist: Terminal Sound System
Label: Relapse Records
Released: 2002
Summary: Minimal ambient glitch. Lonely, tranquil sounds.

As you can probably guess from its title, RH-8SB is a pretty unusual album. It features a minimal soundscape, comprised for the most part of only cold pads, clean sub-bass and, for percussion, loops made up of what sounds like a pulse dial telephone and a detuned AM radio.

The result evokes images of an icy landscape and feelings of isolation and loneliness, while the sounds themselves are reminiscent of obsolete communications technology. Consequently, these tracks are perfect for listening to while you trudge through the snow on a cold winter's day.

This is a quirky album, but for the most part it's also tranquil. A few of the cuts are a bit loud and clangy for my liking, but tracks like Silt and Ghost have a compelling beauty. If nothing else, Terminal Sound System has proven that clicks and glitches needn't sound piercing and abrasive.

The only other album I can think of that is in any way comparable to RH-8SB is The End of Tel Aviv by Faction. While it employs glitch sounds to achieve a similar laid back effect, it doesn't have RH-8SB's minimal simplicity or cold atmosphere, instead sounding more melodic and rich.

If you want to listen to something cold yet peaceful, RH-8SB is an interesting oddity that deserves a place on any ambient fan's shelf.

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