VA: Little Darla Has a Treat for You v. 25: Endless Summer 2007-08

There's no overriding theme to the latest Darla sampler though one might argue that quality and diversity are two that are very much present and accounted for. The twenty-fifth(!) installment in the series pulls together thirty-five tracks from labels like Ad Noiseam, Autres Directions In Music, Sublight, Elefant, Planting Seeds, Resonant, n5MD, and, of course, Darla itself. The artists too come from all corners of the globe—the UK, Iceland, Brazil, Sweden, Italy, Greece, Japan, US, and so on—and any listener puzzling over track sequencing can relax, as the selections are alphabetically arranged by artist. Styles run the gamut, from dramatic electronic mood music (Aarktica, Yellow6, Cdatakill), dreamy synth-pop (My Little Airport, Future Conditional), guitar-heavy indie-rock (California Oranges, Section 25, Hell On Wheels), breezy folk-rock (Cooper, The Voyces, Corazon), aggressive IDM-breakcore (AZ-Rotator), instrumental post-rock (Japancakes), and even Stereolab-styled mayhem (Jupiter Apple).

Highlights? Many, including: Atone's “72 Mesures Et Plus” (a somber meditation where a Melodica wheezes amidst tinkling piano droplets), Lullatone's breezy Bossa Nova treatment of “Sleepytime Samba,” the epic sweep of Lights Out Asia's “Lights Out, Crying Planes,” the entrancing vocal melodies and harmonies of Linda Draper's ballad “Shine,” the Mazzy Starr-like charm of Land Of Ill Earthquakes' winsome “Acres Of Fakers,” the delicate acoustic breeze that blows through RF & Lili De La Mora's “Moon Balloon,” the mournful strings in Blaine Reininger's haunted “House of Atreus,” and the blistering shoegaze roar of Keith Canisius's (aka Rumskib) “The Sea Me, Feel Me.” Is it a worthwhile acquisition? Sure it is, and even more so when almost every track is an exclusive.

December 2007