CD: Notochord Recordings 01 [2006]

Slacknote: Huge Wooden Radio
Semiomime: Hiding Vase
Wisp: To Draw Something Beautiful
Stephen James Knight: Somber Grey
Sunao Inami: Angle
Wisp: A Forward Collapse
Autoclav1.1: The Low Down On Cows
Blue T-Shirt: Sentimental Institution
Slacknote: Skulls
Sunao Inami: Thin Out
Autoclav1.1: Meet Me Halfway (Liar's Rosebush Remix) Semiomime: Eightnees
Slacknote: Always Remain Hardcore
Semiomime: Grasshopper
Blue T-Shirt: Thunderstorms

Notochord 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.


[Notochord Recordings]

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