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Compilations - Issue 601


Various Artists


Circadian Rhythms
Based around its NTS show, Circadian Rhythms is a project taking direct aim at what they describe as “evolving the delivery of sound”. 16-track tape compilation ‘Partisan’ comes packaged in uniquely up-cycled wares. Made from a military surplus sewing kit, the tape sits snug inside the fabric casing alongside scissors, needles, thread, and a thimble, actively encouraging listeners “to repair and repurpose”. Up for sale with the tape are also repurposed waterproof German military ponchos, or a neck gaiter with a ‘hidden inner stash pocket’. Long before one even hits the pay button, ‘Partisan’ is an inspired transmission from the capital’s underground, so deep into repressive neoliberalism that militaristic imagery and teaching self-sufficiency isn’t just desirable – it’s essential. The music takes itself no less seriously, staunchly firing rhythms and bass out with urgency. Following Thugwidow’s doomy galactic prelude of galactic bass wobbles and marching drum breaks, the first half of the tape is full of acid tropes, jungle beats and criss-crossing high energy genres. The second half seeps a bit more into soft-edged experimentalism from the likes of Flora Yin-Wong, Hyph11E, and Filter Dread. The entire package brims with the fresh sense of purpose in a young generation.
Tristan Bath
Eglo Records Vol. 2

Various Artists

Eglo Records Vol. 2

Eglo Records

Lovely tunes, unevenly arranged
Over the last decade, London-based label Eglo Records have released music from artists that have shaped dance music’s decade: Floating Points, Henry Wu, Fatima, Byron the Aquarius, Steven Spacek. It seems apt that the influential label releases a compilation that floats between house, jazz, techno, garage, broken beat and R&B, looking back at the last five years. The 30 tracks that are chosen for it end up being a lukewarm, nostalgia-induced trip down memory lane. Though classic tunes like Floating Points’ ‘King Bromeliad’ and Fatima’s ‘Technology’ are included alongside new, previously unheard releases, there is no consideration for the flow of the compilation. It’s haphazardly placed: a mismatch of great tunes that are thrown together in a pot and swirled around. Ultimately, the uneven tracklisting makes each part of the album great but, as a whole, it falls flat.
Dhruva Balram
Ghostly Swim 3

Various Artists

Ghostly Swim 3

Ghostly International

Dance dispatches from left field
Ghostly International has remained a reliable source of forward-thinking electronics since it materialised in Michigan just over 20 years ago. This third edition of its ‘Swim’ compilation series brings together a diverse cross-genre selection of tracks, from pioneering acts operating at dance music’s fringes. Yak’s ‘Take Flight’ is a tumbling broken beat piece made of bleeps and rickety breaks, while the recent explosion of braindance beats is represented by the splintered, emotive tones of Bogdan Raczynski’s ‘ggowwksstane’. On the house side, Alec Ness and Dizzy Fae provide submerged bass grooves and X-rated raps on ‘Meal’, and Ouri’s incredible ‘A NUN’S VVET DREAM’ is a hallucinogenic excursion into sample-laden four- four. But the real treats come near the end, with DJ Python’s mystic synth and reggaeton rhythms on ‘Chalet’ and the hyperactive breakbeat minimalism of Human Resources’ ‘Steady On’. Superb throughout, Ghostly’s innovative spirit is intact.
Ben Murphy