Two from Down Under on 12K

In recent days I’ve been listening to two albums released last spring on the venerable electronic/ambient/experimental music label 12k. Both, by coincidence, are by artists from Australia. The first is Seaworthy’s album “1897,” which was recorded in and around a century-old decommissioned ammunitions bunker. Guitarist Cameron Webb’s hesitant, wandering, layered yet clean guitar picking owes a debt to Dirty Three’s Mick Turner (whose solo albums are somewhat hard to find but fantastic). But what Webb comes up with, in part by running the guitar lines through various processors and computer programs, is absolutely lovely. So, too, is Lawrence English’s album A Colour for Autumn. This release’s extended ambient compositions have a softer edge than those on Kiri No Oto, his 2008 disc for Touch (which was so good it prompted me to interview him for Artforum.com’s “500 Words” column). Click on the album titles for more information and samples.