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Various Artists, Exp/Static [Expanding + Static Caravan – Van 51 E/S, 2003]

December 16th, 2003

various_exp_static_10The two influential record labels Expanding and Static Caravan join forces and release “Exp/static” a 10″ picture disc for the Christmas season 2003. The expanding (xmas waistline) team is represented by the core of expanding’s artists: Benge, Stendec and Vessel. The static (auntie val’s xmas nylon jumper) caravan team is represented by: Lilienthal (recently reviewed at ED), Hulk and Marcia Blaine School for Girls.With “Bambie” Benge delivers a fantastic track with his unique sound and this time around the genre to be re-invented and Bengefied is decidedly dub related. “Bambie” contains excellent string arrangements as well as beats and a contrabass-like played bassline, there’s just one Benge and this is how he sounds. Stendec really showing brute production force in their contribution “Incluse”, with excellent handling of the beats, beautiful and expertly chosen sounds and a warm atmosphere second to none. If I’m not mistaken it’s a version of a track that featured in Stendec’s 2002 live show. Vessel returns in form on “Sticker” after his delightful full-length album that was released on Expanding earlier this year. Clever build-up/construction of the beats leading up to the main melody and melancholic atmosphere, but as often is the case with Vessel the sun rays are just waiting to break through the clouds and all of a sudden you’re happier once again.Lilienthal’s “King of Information” is quite acoustic and apart from the effective beats and vocal arrangements it’s main feature is a lonesome unaltered guitar. It’s quite beautiful and different sounding. Hulk delivers “Paper Rock Scissors” a lo-fi number consisting of a quite disturbing vocal-like melody and generally claustrophobic feeling. I’m not familiar with Hulk ‘s productions, but this track is intriguing. Marcia Blane School for Girls venture out on the beats-tip with “Miss Prism” adding unusual sonic elements (vibraphone?) and creating a track that is as unique as it is quirky. But that’s more or less their trademark, so it is to be expected. The disc itself is a colourful, thick and limited piece of plastic, yet another fantastic release by Expanding and Static Caravan.

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