Recordings is a new label based in The Netherlands that focuses on rhythm
and structure without trying to define or label the music it releases.
Consisting of artists from around the world, Notochord encompasses styles
as wide ranging as IDM, electro, trip-hop, drum and bass, ambient and
breakcore from countries as widespread as the UK, Netherlands, Canada,
USA and Japan. This untitled compilation is an introduction to the label
and the type of music they will release.
Slacknote's opening track 'Big Wooden Radio' is a track of two
halves, the first being a fitting sample laden introduction to music making
and listening but the second half switches moods completely and becomes
a sort of dub reggae journey by train. 'Hiding Vase' by Semiomime
on the other hand slowly unfolds from an atmospheric introduction into
an energetic track with sharp precise beats that still maintains a subtle
underlying melancholy mood. Wisp continues the theme in a slightly more
aggressive manner with 'To Draw Something Beautiful' which is
gentle and melodic in places but frantic and slightly mad for the most
part. Stephen James Night's 'Somber Grey' continues the theme
with massive crushing beats and an ethereal melodic backdrop while the
odd but captivating 'Angle' by Sunao Inami ventures in abstract
breaks territory. Autoclav 1.1's grinding 'The Low Down on Cows'
drifts along but is dominated by massive breaks and its low bassline.
In comparison, 'Sentimental Institution' by Blue T-shirt that
follows it is a mellow mix of acoustic guitar and flowery electronics
that requires intervention from Slacknote in the form of 'Skulls'
to bring things back on course with more huge mechanical beats and creative
use of vocal samples. After more adept beat experimentation from Sunao
Inami with 'Thin Out', the Liar's Rosebush remix of Autoclav
1.1's 'Meet Me Half Way' treats us to some slick energetic beats
and piano exploration. Slacknote treats us to the hard edged metallic
clatters of 'Always Remain Hardcore', leaving Semiomime's penultimate
'Grasshopper' to slow things down a little and set the scene
for Blue T-shirt to close the album with the gently drifting tones and
textures of the serene 'Thunderstorms'.
By releasing this compilation of varied electronic music, Notochord stay
true to their words of releasing quality music without trying to label
or define it. Mostly, but not exclusively, beat or rhythm focussed, the
artists represented here cover a quite diverse set of experimental electronic
genres from fractured beats to ambience back to post-industrial noise.
A strong compilation of both artists and contributions, particular standout
tracks are Slacknote's 'Skulls', the Liar's Rosebush remix of
Autoclav 1.1's 'Meet me Half Way' and both tracks from Sunao
Inami, all of which have very different styles and approaches but all
of which are particular well defined in their respective ways.