2 x CD: Geska GSK0401 
Packaged with a hard-to-navigate yet visually-appealing insert that features beautiful close-ups of archaic electrics, this new Geska Records double-sampler provides, on the contrary, a comprehensive (perhaps over-comprehensive) snapshot of current post-industrial electronics, with a good mix of newcomers and household names.
Much of disc one is in creeping-sense-of-impending-doom mode, executed to a greater or lesser degree of musical accomplishment in thunderous noisy rhythms or moody electronica. While all the tracks are competent at least, a few are a little pedestrian, and I thought this included Stendeck's first contribution until it erupted into a towering anthemic monolith and then broke back down into a solo piano. Stendeck does this kind of thing well and is definitely one to watch. 'Towering anthemic monolith' also isn't a bad description of the track by Iszoloscope, who as I write are setting up their equipment at Electrowerkz for (I believe) their London debut. They have perhaps inherited the mantle of Converter, who follow them here, and the greater subtlety of rhythmic construction that Iszoloscope brought to this style of music is very much apparent. It's still noisy as all fuck though. Several of the tracks experiment with breakbeats, but the best example comes from AQL, who marry fluid, organic rhythms to a chromatic acoustic guitar sound in a most pleasing manner reminiscent of Mimetic.
Disc two kicks off with Squale whose electronic manipulations blend into a female voice and a squealing noise that reminds me strangely of an old Haujobb track. This sets the scene for a slightly more varied and generally more chilled out collection, although Synapscape and Lith do represent the full-on merciless breakbeats contingent, and Re_Agent contribute some professional but unexceptional 'terror EBM' (yick). Shizuka's track does very well in the mid-speed breaks category, with some lovely atmospheric sound effects, while Stendeck (the only band with two tunes featured) are present in a slightly more downbeat style than before, and Flint Glass sound minimal and sporadic compared to their usual intensity. OTX and Mlada Fronta have a particularly cinematic feel, with the former taking their inspiration from (I think) War of the Worlds, and the latter going for a John Carpenter sort of vibe.
the 27 tracks plus two bonus videos on offer, I can't shake the feeling
that this compilation would have been more memorable if Geska had been
slightly more selective with the track selection and released a single
CD with well-ordered tracks, like their Sonic Visions [read
review here] collection from 2003. Having said that, it only costs
about twelve quid plus shipping at today's exchange rates to get the whole
thing and make your own choices.
Direct Link: http://www.auralpressure.com/review/various/va_alpha.html
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