CD: Funkwelten FW006 [2004]

Displacer: Down
Flint Glass: Ethereal Winter
Flint Glass: Teotihuacan
Enfusion: Zweiundvierzigfiever
Polyspace: Express
Polyspace: Andromeda
Klangfarbe: Génétique
Satsuma: Monday Color
Satsuma: Mauna Kea
Polygon: Bin
Echorausch: Helix
Echorausch: Shape
For A Space: Underneath

Showcasing the roster (and friends) of the new-ish electronica imprint from Germany's Black Rain group, this tasty 13-track sampler brings us a diverse and yet consistent set of artists that would perhaps sound out of place on the parent label's 'wave'-scene lineup. Laid-back mellow ambience is the order of the day here, and although Enfusion's contribution sounds a tad hippy-relaxation-tape, and one of Satsuma's tracks has a bit of a dated drum'n'bass vibe to it, this is generally accomplished without sounding twee.

Klangfarbe's 'Génétique' is particularly appealing, with a distinctively European electro-ambient sound not unlike Totakeke, and an honourable mention has to go to Flint Glass, a.k.a. Brume founder Gwenn Trémorin, whose blistering performance at the Leipzig festival last month was the highlight for me. Despite being in more downbeat mode here, he - yes, he, despite the name - maintains an aura of creeping menace that hints at the intensity of the live show. For that matter, Echorausch's two moody, beat-driven numbers, easily the most industrial tunes on offer here, make me wish I'd caught their set too.

These days it's a bit hard to review a new electronica compilation without hearing the influence of Autechre or Aphex Twin somewhere, although thankfully in this case it's not as obvious or ubiquitous as on some CDs I could mention. Polyspace do the Warp-style thing quite well though, while refusing to be a one-trick pony - sister project For A Space features vocals by Juliane Wilde and sounds like a slightly more Teutonic version of Bjork. It's a nice curtain call for an admirably diverse lineup.



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