Sunday, 11 October 2015

µ20 - Various (Planet Mu) / In A Moment - Various (Ghost Box)

Planet Mu label is 20 years old - christ! - makes me feel ancient. I met the boss, Mike Paradinas, around the same time Mu was born; he featured as Jake Slazenger on the comp we put together in '96. µ20 is a 3-CD trip through Drum'n'Glitch, Basswork, Tekfoot, Ravestep & other made-up genres. Leafcutter John's KickCut (2001) and Firestar by Vex'd (2003) have aged well. Hrvatski's Glass (2000) is a real highlight (Pierre Schaeffer lives!). Herva's Kila stands out too. Most of it's new to me. Some of it sounds new but is old. Some of it I will have heard and forgotten. What does that mean? I dunno. Just that in the accumulation of so much listening a lot will be lost. Much of this comp holds its value well, but unlike Paradinas I detest Footwork, of which there's a fair bit. In modern music terms, Planet Mu may be ancient but, on the whole, this selection proves it's justified, just about.

The Ghost Box label is 10 years old. Yes, you know, H**nt*logy. It's artists work with history and it will no doubt go down in history as a 'classic label'. A very British sound, you might say, tapping into memories (real or imaged) of a generation raised in a time of test cards and terrifying kids' TV. Since I haven't been an avid collector this comp is a chance to possibly catch up on good things I've missed. Turns out that I have most of what's great. I know you're supposed to be a fan of twee Folksy stuff if you love Ghost Box but I'm not. Imagine a nostalgic love of nostalgia...perhaps this selection offers the chance for just that. To be honest the merry little instrumental melodies don't sound as fresh today as they did when rewriting kids' TV themes was a new idea, but The Mirror Ball Cracked by Pye Corner Audio still sounds healthy (in it's simple retrofuturist groove). The Black Drop by Mount Vernon Arts Lab proves what a stand-out artist Drew Mulholland was/is and Roj is an exception too. The Focus Group are, for my money, the best representation of skewed musical memories micro cut for maximum effect. 

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