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Compilations - Issue 602

Kulør 006

V/A

Kulør 006

Kulør
8.0
Copenhagen’s electronic scene is generating plenty of headlines at the moment, and rightly so. From the unbound electro of Solid Blake to the city’s fast techno movement, it’s become a hub for adventurous DJs and producers. Courtesy (Najaaraq Vestbirk) is one of these artists and her Kulør label, launched in 2018, is gaining a reputation for its forward facing sound. Its sixth release is this compilation, shining a light on some of the Danish capital’s most intriguing new acts. Accompanied by a 30-minute video piece made by David Stjernholm, the tracks here depart from the techno narrative, favouring delicate ambient, leftfield pop and melodic machine music. Though he normally makes pummelling club gear, Schacke offers the melancholy, serotonin depleted ‘The End Of Ecstasy’, while Sofie Birch’s ‘Look’ combines slow new age oscillations with her FX-laden vocals. Astrid Sonne provides bright, rapid synth riffs on ‘Swirl’, and Minais B’s beatless highlight ‘To Levende Væsener’ threatens to erupt into a Jon Hopkins neo trancer, but instead exercises restraint. Towards the collection’s close, IBON’s ‘Sorgpad’ supplies a frosty and bittersweet coda, with its glimmering synths conjuring a crystalline mood. ‘Kulør 006’ indicates that Copenhagen’s electronic underground is even more vibrant than we realised.
Ben Murphy
Air Texture Vol. VII

V/A

Air Texture Vol. VII

Air Texture

(G)rave on
8.0
One of the first signs of the ambient renaissance when they started releasing compilations in 2011, the Air Texture label has recently flipped the script. Whilst keeping the same set-up of inviting two artists to curate unreleased tracks, ‘Vol. VI’ saw Martyn and Steffi ply more rhythmic fare, and ‘Vol. VII’ hands the reins to Rrose and Silent Servant: two names not exactly renowned for relaxing sounds. Nor are many of the artists who’ve contributed tracks, such as Ron Morelli, Function and Luke Slater. But whilst the tempos might be slower than expected, the tone isn’t any sunnier. Silent Servant’s selection occasionally bursts into beats amidst all the gloom, but Rrose’s is almost entirely comprised of ominous clanks and sepulchral drones: if ambient is aural wallpaper, ‘Air Texture Vol. VII’ would hang well in a morgue.
Paul Clarke

V/A

PM V/A Vol. 2

Peder Mannerfelt Produktion

Low-end-loving upstarts
7.0
Peder Mannerfelt calls himself a “rave dad”, but unlike many electronic veterans, this Swedish bass champion doesn’t rest on his laurels. He’s an effective ally who amplifies others, be it through his own work (e.g. 2018’s’ I Stand Up and Say, Toxic Masculinity Has Got to Go Away’) or by boosting up- and-coming acts like Sissel Wincent, Code Walk and Machine Woman on his eponymous label. ‘PM V/A Vol. 2’ continues that effort, showcasing a global cast of low-end-loving upstarts that includes Amazondotcom, Siete Catorce, Isabella and Galacid, amongst others. Moving through a variety of different styles — all of them featuring heavy bass — the compilation is strong from front to back, but particularly striking are Lack’s rumbling ‘Squeeze’ the punchy drum attack of NKC’s ‘A to Zdz’; and the crackling breakbeats of Mannerfelt’s own ‘Blockchain Carpaccio’.
Shawn Reynaldo