One Point Two is the most natural name for the sequel of the first Rednetic compilation One Point (you guessed it) One that saw the light if day in 2004 and was the second release ever on this not that old thriving yet successful label. There’s little point in denying it this compilation is very good and if it has any shortcomings they’re surely down to musical preferences and nothing else. The opening track Queasy by affiliated artist Mint of Boltfish fame and it’s the perfect lush opening for a 14-track session of contemporary electronics. Queasy strikes me as quite an unusual track for being Mint masterminding it somewhat less nice than his regular output. Boc Scadet’s She Spoke of the Sky is another emotive high-tech production by Boc Scadet and it’s not hard to understand how this track ended up on the One Point Two compilation. Polestar’s Retro Future is brilliant with warm lush sounds submerging the sonic picture as they are contrasted with crisp beats and plenty of forward motion a simply seminal piece of music. Zainetica’s Awaken track is classic Zainetica material and the bubbly bassline would grace any open-minded dance floor and the musical references are as vast as is the undeniable talent held by this artist. Cheju’s Hubl holds all the characteristics of a Cheju track apart from the bassline that is decidedly more 80′ like than I’ve ever heard before. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely a different approach for being Cheju. Vizier of Damascus’ Murmurs is anything and everything you would expect from Vizier of Damascus a great ambient track with an edge and the rhythmic work on Murmurs is excellent. However the track’s playing time is too short, weighing in at 03:12 it is much too short. The eleventh track Harajuku is an interesting collaboration between Joseph Auer and household name Lackluster. Actually it seems to be a remix by the ever so productive Lackluster, so I guess it should read something like Joseph Auer Harajuku (Lackluster Pitchmix). And as it turns out it was originally named Harajuku Rain and is taken from his Kyoto Tokyo 2001 EP released in 2004 on the very same label. In the remix Lackluster is opting for the big bass and the slow beats in this summery roller keep the bass heavy and the beats kind of hollow, ya’ll feelin’ it? Joseph Auer’s Probes off Io has all the qualities and the unmistakable sounds of any J.Auer track. It is a solid slab of Americana being served by the artist. Complete with lush strings and forward moving beats in perfect harmony. Superb production and another piece of fine music signed J.Auer. Inigo Kennedy’s Faraway Towns has a melancholy struck melody, crisp beats and massive amounts of bass. It is an unforgiving slightly distorted bassline that is a monster. In Faraway Towns you get the sweet with the rough in a brilliant way. You’ve been warned so watch those bassbins! Sunosis’ Leap is the last track on the compilation and it is taken from the lovely Warmed EP released (and reviewed) on Rednetic earlier this year. In conclusion: One Point Two – More Digital Listening Music from Rednetic (as the full title reads) is a definite show of force by Rednetic and a welcome as it is refreshing collection of tracks that rely on electronics rather than acoustic instruments in what seems to be an unstoppable wave of acoustic releases the past year or so. After all this is the E-desert!
The latest offering by AlephZero (JUN 2007) is the compilation Midnight Souldive and it brings more of their gentle chilled out beats. The contributors are as would be the case with a compilation in most cases both well known and unknown. There are twelve tracks in total and the usual suspects as far as AlephZero goes are: Omnimotion (who recently released the Dream Wide Awake full-length album), Shulman and Bluetech all with previous album releases on the label. The compilation is exceedingly well-produced easy on the ears chill-out music and as the title may suggest it is perfect for that hot lazy summer day while waiting for the next phase of any given day nightfall.
A compilation on October Man Recordings that contains 14 tracks by 13 artists as is usually the case there are some well-known contributors to OMR and some who make their first contribution. The electronic music elder Cheju opens A Small Frame of Reference with the trademarked sounding and beautiful Bracken. The one thing out of the ordinary with the track in question would be the tempo, which is set low compared to many of his previous tracks. Absent Without Leave’s Clouds is sounding very familiar with it’s setting of gentle guitar and drums a sweet little number indeed. Alkin Engineering’s Edge Too Close is superb with serious sub bass, synthetic sounds and reversed strings lingering above. In combination with processed vocals it creates a lot of atmosphere and it’s very nice! Bacanal Intruder’s Archiduque’s guitars and harmonica is oozing of innocence (if there actually is such a thing). Yellow6′s Untitled 2 sees this artist pursue his brand of guitar-based music, as has been the case on many occasions before and always to great effect. Ursula’s Des-Confort shares the familiarity in sound with Clouds by Absent Without Leave and it could be the strong pop-like melodies that reinforce that feeling. Arturowilliamsb’s Rural Memoir is cinematic, acoustic and quite beautiful. Spookboy’s Penny Sanchez flips the script literally and delivers a looped based non-hip hop sounding hip-hop track. Aitänna77′s October 16th sees him continuing treading the path of the 21st century singer-song writer, with this delicately put together track. Dof’s Adverb is hectic in comparison with the forerunners and yet it is a variant of the acoustic exercise s found on A Small Frame of Reference compilation. .tape.’s Numa is beatless and almost entirely based on acoustic guitar. David Newlyn’s Lesson 7 is pensive and the way the tones from a lonely grand piano echoes out into space in a to say the least epic way (it may be of interest that the artist is sharing the identity of October Man Recordings’ founder and owner). Cheju is graced with two contributions to the compilation and the second one Crane-fly is a re-interpretation of one of his own tracks, the ambience is as unmistakable as is the beat. Finally Winterlight’s Swept that concludes this DIY show of force. There’s just one possible problem and that is to find this compilation if you happen to like owning physical copies of your music. This review has been sadly delayed and given that the actual release took place some time last year (2006) and given the sever limitation of any OMR release you’ll probably not be able to obtain a copy. But, hey there’s always the chance of a re-release, you never know. And yes, Winterlight’s Swept is lovely!
Various Artists, Ginglik Saturdays: Rhythms Re-lik [Ginglik Records / Bubblewrap Industries - BUBBLIK02, 2006]
A 14-track compilation by the well-respected Ginglik establishment in London and depicting sonically what goes on their Saturday electronic excursions, in their fourth year of operation. It’s a collaboration release with Bubblewrap Industries and it is the second in a series of compilations. The 14-track compilation has known and not so known contributors from all around. There’s common denominator and that is that they’ve all performed live at Ginglik at a time or another. (Hey, that’s exactly the same setup as “Sandwaves Sector One”). It’s basically a mix of household names and soon to be ones. Among the debutants you’ll find Dine and Sunosis making contributions. The latter of them also seem to have released an MP3 EP entitled “Warm”. Abstract Knights of Colony Productions fame bring forth the steady beats and Ochre goes for a high-octane edit of one of his own songs. Sentinel 1 and Ardisson a definitely makes it into a London thing with various bas references. Liberation Jumpsuit and LJ Kruzer going for the vocals. Posthuman reinventing themselves in “The Process Of Filing Reports (Ginglik Mix)” as excellent as it is bursting of atmosphere. Zainetica brings the sounds of the other side of the Atlantic in his finger popping “Automatic Calm”. Veneration Music ends the compilation with the dramatic and drenched in analogue “The Double Life” which has a strong feeling of reminiscence to it, just can’t put my finger on it. A little something for everyone and by the sound of it Ginglik’s Saturdays are ready to go on for many years to come.
The title is self-explanatory and this release is surrounded by mystery. It contains eight tracks by as many artists all naturally taken from Expanding’s catalogue. Orla Wren, Modern Institute, Flotel, Miller + Fiam, Benge, Stendec, Vessel and Cathode are included, in other words a regular who’s who at Expanding. The sampler is a promotional item, thereby not for resale and already causing severe headaches for the collectors.
All but one of the previous releases by ON Records have been reviewed at ED and the latest addition “Tured In Been” is definitely not warranting to become the exception. On Records is a fairly small Dutch label that has a small yet impressive catalogue. One of the reasons is naturally the fact that the label has managed to incorporate and release the outstanding and brightly shining duo Funckarma! “Tured In Been” is a nicely packaged compilation comprised of bits and pieces of ON’s previous output as well as never before released tracks. Secede, Ardbit, Herrmutt Lobby, EEDL, L’Usine, Nynack, Funckarma, EOG, Kettel, Rawakari, Aver Boodi, Slemper, Loden, Adam Johnson and Kadah/Vresky all contribute with music. It goes without saying that this is an in all aspects excellent record filled with electronic and delightful sounds. I strongly suggest you get it now, if you haven’t got it already.
So it has finally arrived (JUL 2006) and it’s the second instalment of Expanding’s evs-series “evsc2:06″ and once again they succeed in compiling beautiful electronic music that has a production standard second to none. Benge’s “Bambi”, Vessel’s “Fold” with exquisite beats and warm deep bass and Bauri’s “Have No Fear” exemplify that fact. The compilation is based around a series of nine 7-inch singles released on Expanding Records. Each 7-inch single was limited to 400 copies pressed on heavy, coloured vinyl and came in a custom, screen printed PVC, zip locked envelope. All the 7-inches contain exclusive tracks not included on this compilation. Flotel, Praveen, Myrakaru, Holkham, Vs_price, Monoceros, Maps + Diagrams also are also included among the released artists. The compilation also include remixes by AM/PM and Tunng. Expanding’s consistency as a label continues to impress and they master to perfection the daunting task to evolve and change yet retain the identity of the label. The “Condition of Muzak 2″ is a must for any serious electronica listener and/or collector.
Bitlab Records, home of Soutien Gorge brings you the quality packed compilation “Polyphonic Petals”. After two consecutive releases by the in-house artists they’ve gathered 14 tracks by almost as many artists on a lovely jewel cased CD. This whole high-standard compilation is a testament to an as obvious as it is overlooked fact, there’s really no need to overcomplicate things. “Polyphonic Petals” consists of 14 tracks of contemporary electronic music, better than you’ll ever hear on any regular night out, or on radio (apart from T:COM on gaialive) or on television or at the supermarket or in the elevator or through you residency’s walls. No, seriously in these the days of the hesitant acoustic guitars and frail voice-overs Bitlab presents some upfront beat-based electronic music and you really should take the time to listen! Among the contributors you’ll find the following competent electronic musicians: Vector Lovers, Cooler, Miles Tillman, Tigrics, Hdj Tom, Ten And Tracer, Sensiva, Television Tom, Boc Scadet, Strategy, Bad Comfort and Joel Tammik.
London Electrics is the result of six collaborating labels: Ai Records, Expanding, Highpoint Lowlife, Seed, Suburb and Uncharted Audio that all have their base in London town, hence the name. This twelve-track compilation is filled with high-quality electronic music not all that surprising considering that it is precisely what one would expect by each and any of the involved labels. The artwork and accompanied website are keeping to the highly set standard. Expanding’s contributors are the usual suspects: Benge and Vessel. Benge who is also Expanding’s founder has contributed with “Panhard” taken from his latest full-length release “I am 9″ classic Benge’s stuff and thereby as excellent as soothing piece of electronic music. Vessel’s “State” is taken from his full-length “Resist”. Other familiar faces would be Digitonal and Posthuman of Seed fame. The surprise is courtesy of Highpoint Lowlife a label previously unknown to me that offers two high-quality tracks. Bovaflux’s and Fisk Industries’ both contribute with forward-moving bass enriched delights. This compilation is a testament to London Electrics and it’s a good one!
“Sensitive to Light” is the title of an ambitious 2 disc release signed October Man Recordings. The first disc features the following talented electronic musicians: Phorm, Mint, A-arc, Octif, Zainetica, Monoculture, Aitänna77, Lum, Joseph Auer, Ian Baxter and Cheju. The second disc features the following talented electronic musicians: Aitänna77, Boc Scadet, Monoculture, Joseph Auer, Octif, Zainetica, Phorm, Cheju, October Man and Aleksander Nikov. And they’re all delivering fine electronic music soothing to ears and soul. OMR8 it might already be to late!