Cahier is one of the most prolific projects of Marko Neuman, as it has either created or taken part on nearly twenty releases since its debut from 2005. This particular album is a compilation of both previously released and unreleased tunes that date between '05 and '08.

The songs vary from beautiful piano- and ambient-pieces (Avion, Moite, Sin Fe VII) to songs based on electronic guitar riffs and noises (Cerrar la Cremallera, Congreso) to full-out harsh noise and noise-drone (Työntötanko, Rincón Oscuro, Otrafni) throughout the compilation, with the atmospheres changing similarly from violent and noisy offense to mellow and ethereal ambience. It might sound like a mess on paper, but somehow the atmosphere and the plot carries through the whole album and makes it surprisingly unified.

All the songs have been recorded using a four-tracker, which gives them a somewhat descanted sound that further ties the different approaches together. Alongside the recording equipment, one more unifier is the songs' minimalistic approach and the small amount of instruments used per song. All the songs wear a thin coating of gleaming noise, so even the softest moments have a slight twist which makes them fit in better amidst the more avantgardey noise and experimentation - and similarly, the harshest noise-parts have a slight ethereal vibe.

The very affordable CD-R comes packed in a soft plastic case, which is coated with some kind of fabric. The home-printed j-card holds all the necessary infos about the release, so there's nothing to really complain about. The musical side speaks for itself, even if some additional visuals would've been welcome.

When regarded as a compilation, this release is pretty much as well made as possible, when noting both the universal lack of effort bands tend to give their compilations as well as Cahier's experimental nature making it hard to create a descriptive collage of its expression's variety. It's a pleasing album when examined as just something one'd like to listen to as well, as it has a lot of variety, a good flow and it's rather unified despite being a compilation. The four-tracker-soundscape gets a bit dull when the album gets closer to its end and the minimalistic approach wears out a bit as well, so I'm glad the artist didn't make the compilation any longer. I'm not sure how good an image this compilation gives from Cahier's actual albums and their structure as I haven't heard any of them, but it's a good place to start getting acquaintanted with the project in any case.

8- / 10