Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Various Artists - Sinewinder CD (Ears International)

Hear The Track Here

Let's say you had this irritating problem. Soundclick is sooo fekkin big and scary and all you really want to know is who are the best Electronica artists around. And yet, everytime you ask the questions on SC's forums you are either met with a mind disturbing silence or showered with abusive one-liners from people who should, by rights, be dead already. Welp, fear not furious friends because I has the answer, oooh yeah and verily and it is contained within one CD.

Wait a second while I put on the approriate hat...

This smart jobbie is what as known in the trade as a charadee hat, for when I am up on the pulpit extolling some of the worthier causes. All artists on this CD gave their services and music free gratis with all profits go to the charity Habitat for Humanity This is what their website says about what they do 'Habitat for Humanity builds and renovates simple, decent homes with the help of homeowner families, through volunteer labour and donations of money and materials'. OK sounds good to me but not - I will readily admit - as good as the CD itself which I think encapsulates a moment in SC time very well. It helps somewhat because I know and love a great many of the artists featured on this CD, names such as Adam Fielding, HELLBus, Omnisne, Alchemystic, USB, drt, Bipolar and many others make this IMHO a slice of just how good SC artists can be. Soooo, let's get to it.

Breakbeatpimp - Ectoskeleton
An artist I've heard by reputation only up until this point, although this track certainly inspires me to check out more. An excellently set up intro track that draws the listener into an ever thickening musical brew until 1:16 when you realise you've forgotten how you got there. Lots of choppy choppy beatage as the artists name should have warned you, but peppy, spicy and very engrossing.

Omnisine - Digital Daffodils
Definitely one of the leading lights of the scene now, even though he has only been around a while, he has made a big impression on everyone. Omnisine's work is beautifully structured, produced and performed as I have written time and time again. He has come on like gangbusters this year to expect to see him to do well towards the end of the year. Digital Daffodils is the man at his punchiest with a rhythm that doesan't let up for a second, and wallow in those textures why don't ya?

Smashed Toy - Re-Entry
Watch your speakers at the beginning of this because the bass eats worlds. A breakbeat from a more established electronica artist, Smashed Toy has been around perfecting what he does for long enough to know what will satisfy. That's why you'll be picking the bones out of this frenetic track for months. Class electronica with a dark, broody heart and an atmosphere you could cut with a knife... Knockout.

Alchemystic - Time Flux
Another artist who appeared on Soundclick a while and proceeded to establish himself quickly with a string of well thought out, melodic peices that had this reviewer almost wetting his nappy. Time Flux is more electronica than this artist usual soundcapes/soundtracks but all the more welcome for it. I'm mean, just listen to those arpeggios - grrr :D

The Downtempo Pilots - Monk-N-Da-Hood
Again a band that's been around a while, I've seen the odd posting about them but as yet never sampled any wares. Monk-N-Da-Hood is another breakbeat chop-em-up that shows considerable style and wit in choosing which sounds to use to make this steamy, beat heavy track. Funnily enough, this ended up being one of my favourites from the CD, because it's a BANGING groove.

HELLbus - Table Fate (Billy)
The original version of this track was my introduction to the world according to HELLbus, and a track that is destined to be at least a track of the year... Out of all the current crop of electronica artists, HELLbus hold by far the pole position for commercially tinged electronica that nonetheless manages to stay true to the genre. I loved the original and I like this - slightly more rhythmic version.

Bipolar - What You See Is What You Get
Although I wouldn't normally associate John Purcell and company with electronica, this track does fit the genre well enough although it still has a poppy edge. That's thanks mainly to Trudi Lawrence, Bipolars singer, and when I reviewed this track earlier in the year I was very complimentary indeed.

Inconnector - Error (Redux Remix)
A new name and artist to me, Error (Redux Remix) showed me that there is always room for harder edged electronica with a pumping, wowing bassline, aided and abetted by endless flurries of chop this, chop that. Certainly different though, so top marks for that.

Flow-Thing - Sunrise On Venus
Flow-Thing is another new name but almost old school in approach and style. Pitched somewhere between chillout and early '90's trance, Sunrise On Venus is epic in scale and scope. Fans of the bleepier side of the genre will ove this, especially with it's out of this world connotations. A very listenable track indeed and one I fancy would do well wherever good music is played.

Adam Fielding - New Beginnings
Here's another long time Soundclick electronica biggie. Adam Fielding is yet another of the genres artists (like HELLbus, Omnisine et al) who is rapidly transcending the genre, stretching its envelope to even include power pop - a trick Adam is becoming most adept at. New Beginnings is a classic example of what makes this musicians work so special; an epic soundscape that glories in the joy of being alive. Magic.

Nation In Blue - Tatal Nostru
Another new name to me, Nation In Blue veer more towards dance electronica, not always a good area for me. Tatal Nostru though is almost chillout and beautiful to boot. A crystal clear production on this track (and the Japanese vocal) won me over instantly but this whole track grows on you like you wouldn't believe. A highspot of the CD for me because I had not heard this artist before and this was such a knockout introduction. Excellent.

USB - Autumn
Another well known electronica face, USB conjures up a track that fully deserves its IDM genre rating. Almost new age in feel and in the instruments used, Autumn manages to avoid the sleepability factor by injecting a healthy does of percussion right at this tracks heart that is a winner. Quality sounds in a quality mix.

Northcape - Distance
And finally, to the instigator of this review, Northcape. Another artist I hadn't, until this track, heard anything from. Judged from this sample, Northcape is my kind of electronica artist, one who uses mixtures of sounds to get what he is after. This pays off handsomely with Distance, an intoxicating blend of different instruments. Interesting ideas too.

Jopy - Paphiopedilum Armeniacum
Now I would have said that Jopy (like drt, the track that follows this) were in fact experimental artists. Sure, there is an electronica overtone but these are more Masters Of Chaos than your normal boingy boingy merchant. One of the CD's longer tracks, Paphiopedilum Armeniacum may take a while to register. It's languid approach is almost reminiscent in structure as a Pink Floyd track, with a decidedly strange tang.

drt - Lacking A Straight Curve
drt has been busily making waves for himself for a while and gathering some attention for it. Lacking A Straight Curve is a classic example of what this artist does, and - as is often the case with this genre - it ain't pretty. On the plus side, it's an awesomely solid (nay dense) slice of electronica that has more than a tinge of classic track about it. And damn me if that doesn't sound like Iggy Pop on vocals :D

The Fruit Orchestra - Morning Light
After the beautifully baffling couple of tracks, The Fruit Orchestra's Morning Light comes as a fresh breath of wind, with it's acoustic sounding leadline, it's long sweeping vistas and it's ability to change with each note. Stylistically it reminded me of koan music but much, much more thought out, and with a definite sense of purpose. A good track to end with methinks.

So, all in all, this is an unbelieveable deal. The best electronica around, all wrapped up in a handsome bundle called a CD - all in a very good cause. Still, all charity aside and wearing my meanest Mr Scrooge hat I'd STILL advocate getting this CD because it really is an accurate look at some of the best electronica artists Soundclick has to offer.

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