CDR: FIR002 [2004]

Mort La Creier: Pactul Curatorului
Electronvc: Track 1
E-Mantra: Menhir
Sebalec: Teacher
Dome: Beautiful
Julian M Feat. Romina V: Invisible Tomorrow
Project 333: The Shaman
Telurica: Telescope
Mater Hades: The Ritual (In The Old Goddess Path)
Discordless: Deprived Of Oxygen
Infectator Com: Ce Simti
Infectator Com: Dark Mission
Minus: Hopeless
Mort La Creier: Incep Sa Cred In Zane
Wide Open Wings: Flight Over The Vast Fields
The Beyond: Oswiecim
Narkoleptik: Sanctuar

I like my job. You get a glimpse into all sorts of thriving local communities from around the world that are fostering creativity in environments largely unpolluted by the trendy electronica of the US and UK, and the noisy industrial scenes of Germany and Belgium. Recently I've been given compilations of new electronics from Israel and Denmark and now this one which comes to us fresh from Romania. There's always a few tracks that don't quite cut it but generally the quality is damn fine, and this is no exception.

On offer here are fifteen bands playing seventeen tracks across the breadth of (generally) chilled-out electronica, from the downbeat grooves and breaks of Mort La Creier and ElectroNVC to the glorious bombastic soundtracks of Wide Open Wings and The Beyond (not the 90s funk rock band!), and from the Empirion-meets-808-State vibe of Dome to the vast spacious drones of Narkoleptik. Surprisingly, given that the label's email address is, I was expecting something much more extreme, but in fact it's mostly pretty tasteful and restrained.

One exception is Infectator Com, who also provide the only hint of Eastern Europe detectable here, a folky melody embedded in the somewhat bizarre 'Ce Simti', which sounds a bit like death metal with no guitars. I wasn't quite sold, but fans of In Slaughter Natives might dig this, as well as the industro-thrash of Discordless. Personally I was much more convinced by the lush electro-ambient sounds of E-Mantra, the old-fashioned industrial techno of Project 333, which sounds remarkably like a trademark Foetus dance remix, and particularly the ice-cold trip-hop of Julian M. and Romina V., who deliver an unsettling Jarboe-style monologue over a scratchy hip-hop groove. It sounds like a bizarre combination but it works extremely well.



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