Vinyl Corner is a feature where we take a look at vinyl pressings of various albums and weigh them up to see just how good they sound, how well they’re pressed and what sort of packaging to expect – as well as giving a brief overview of the music itself. This time we’re looking at Sound Of Ceres’ ethereal sophomore effort ‘The Twin’.
It’s anyone’s guess what music from the dwarf planet Ceres might sound like, but it seems as though Brooklyn’s Sound Of Ceres have a pretty good idea. Their recently released second long player, ‘The Twin’ is an album of abstractly gloopy electronics, sparse minimalist grooves and weightlessly airy vocals that drift over the music like the stars over the planet from which the band gained their name. There’s a neon-lit sensuality to the album’s waves of breathy vocal and swirling, space-age atmospherics but so too is there a sense of mystery and even disquiet – the album evoking a vivid sense of exploration in some unknown alien quarters.
‘The Twin’ finds its way into the world via the reliably intriguing Joyful Noise Recordings and, as with all of the label’s releases, the album is available in a few different colours. We’re looking at the so-called VIP edition here on the rather extravagantly named “Oxblood and Bone with Grey splatter” vinyl. Whatever its name, there’s no denying that the record itself looks superb; it’s a great colour scheme and one that manages to be visually arresting without impacting playback quality. This pressing, made by Pirates Press, is aesthetically gorgeous – and both sonically and in terms of pressing quality it is likewise excellent. The noise floor is very minimal here and playback is comparably clean with no surface noise on our copy. Ours also sits flat during playback and weight is solid enough – by our guess around 150g. All in all a rock solid pressing of the album and perhaps the ideal way to hear such an album.
Packaging and presentation is actually very nice on this release; the sleeve itself is a fairly standard non gatefold affair; however it’s well made, feels very solid in hand and boasts good print quality with sharp definition and a vivid colour palette. The inner sleeve is very attractive; it’s printed on solid, heavy card and again looks great, providing art and lyrics for the full album – a welcome inclusion as words can be hard to make out. Although presentation isn’t unusually lavish in itself, what is included here is well made and looks great. The release has an agreeable price point ($15 for the black vinyl edition and $20 for this version) and given that relatively low sum, presentation is very nice indeed.
An intriguing album both thematically and sonically, ‘The Twin’ sees Sound Of Ceres craft an atmospheric treat which juggles weightless ambience with a darker, more foreboding undercurrent. This Joyful Noise vinyl pressing is excellent, boasting quiet, smooth playback and an appealing visual presentation. A highly recommended release for those intrigued by the space age mystique of this group.