VA: Another Generic Label Sampler Vol. 1,000,000
Concrete Plastic

Heading critics off at the pass by christening its own comp ‘generic' is a cheeky but clever move. True enough, it certainly seems like more compilations are being released today than at any other time, so many that even the most disciplined listener can be excused for sighing at the prospect of another. So, given all that, is there anything to recommend Another Generic Label Sampler Vol. 1,000,000? Of course there is. For starters, the disc arrives courtesy of Concrete Plastic, a new Brighton-based imprint established by one of the founders of Ai Records and SRL, so there's an automatic guarantee of quality. And, secondly, there are the tunes themselves, a stylistically rich grouping portending the myriad directions the label intends to pursue in the days to come.

The Other Collectors' (Iain Law, formerly The Collectors and Yunx member) opening “Stan smith” is a downright stunner, a mesmerizing, tripped-out amalgam of acid jazz, chicken-scratch guitar, and space-funk that thunders for eight breathless minutes (and check out the multi-limbed, fusion-flavoured drum breaks that careen mightily throughout). Rootsix's (Simon Mills) emotive slice of panoramic electro-techno (“Minimales 2”), Ultre's (Finn McNicholas) serpentine beat physics (the tightly-coiled “Thersus”), and 214's (Chris Roman) glistening android slam (“It happened when she sat at the pink table”) are almost as good. Elsewhere, Praveen, Yellotone (Simon Harding), and Rösner (Matt Roesner) opt for bucolic prettiness while electronic music's darker underbelly is explored by Posthuman (Seed Records' Rich Bevan and Josh Doherty) in “Golan trevize.” So, yes, it is another sampler but it's far from generic. It is, however, a solid overview of current styles emanating from overseas electronic labels like Ai, Seed, SRL, Benbecula, Highpoint Lowlife, and Modern Love.

October 2006