Various Artists – [2011] BACKUP11

Exceptional chiptune compilation for Platine Festival in Cologne. Great contributions from well-known artists.

If you want to saviour a varied selection of different classic 8-bit as well as modern interpretations of the genre, look no further. From classic pure console sounds to blends of chip and studio music you can feel served. I can fully recommend each of the 10 tracks, yet will only showcase you the habitual two here:

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Various Artists – [2009] Footprints

Massive trip hop infused electronic compilation. 30 tracks from dance to experimental.

Netlabel Bump Foot is special in that it consists two separately numbered release channels. One is labelled bump, dealing with house and techno, foot the other for IDM, trip hop, chiptune, ambient… everything else electronic, basically. In 2009, both series hit their 100th anniversary. This one is filled with two hours of high quality trip hop, pop-y and funky electronica from the golden netlabel era.

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Planet Boelex – [2013] Exist

Short like an EP, full like a compilation. Uplifting ambient electronica at its best.

A short album, but varied like a compilation: 6 tracks, 3 of which are compilations, and 2 remixes make this a small festival in all things ambient electronica.
It marked the end of a three year hiatus. And what a bombastic, I mean, relaxing, way to do that. If you have not yet Planet Boelex on your mental shortlist for acoustic bubble baths, here is your ticket:

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Various Artists – [2006] The Silent Ballet, Volume II: Acquiescence and Oblivion

Essential post rock compilation series. Spans a huge range from almost classical to jazzy territory.

This compilation more than most rewards front-to-back listening. Much care has gone in arranging the tracks “in order”. Thus it hurts me more than usual to only rip two tracks out of context. So if you can find pleasure in those, the 9 other track in between warrant their long duration (over 6 minutes on average).

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Various Artists – [2019] Fusion Compilation 12

Versatile trip hop compilation. From ethnic ambient to catchy pop rock, all genres may apply.

Over 5 years after my review on Fusion Compilation 8, I return to this netlabel with their most recent instalment to the series. Comparing both compilations back to back highlights how professional the free music scene has become during the course of the decade: all ten tracks have major-label grade production, crisp recording and tight arrangements. Which tracks am I gonna highlight?

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Various Artists – [2007] Classic Accidents

Clicky, surprisingly upbeat deep house from Mainz, with one or two experimental slippages.

This vintage collection of rather minimal danceable tracks does not compromise on its concept to please. Dry clicks and noisy effects are sprinkled liberally across the whole 12-track ensemble. But that playfulness in texture is well balanced by minimal harmonies and repetitive (not to say catchy) song structures.

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Various Artists – [2007] Share It Spread It Love It

Antique pop compilation. From the rather early days of high quality free music publishing.

At the time, trying to publish music outside the traditional channels (music labels) was still quite out of the ordinary. No Bandcamp, no Jamendo, no Free Music Archive. All those only came to life during the last 10 years. If you this release’s style, have a listen to the curators other compilations, mixes and podcasts, all neatly stored for our future pleasure. But now, lend my two picks an ear (or two):

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Various Artists – [2012] netBloc, Volume 39: Antididonai

Exceptional pop compilation. The fabulous series does it yet again…

Again it’s time to honour one of the more than 50 episodes of the netBloc series.

Like usual, two tracks are far to few to cover all the gems in this release. Like usual for a blocSonic release, it covers a broad range of popular music genres, ranging from alternative rock, to easy listening to instrumental hip hop.

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Various Artists – [2010] netwaves 04.28: new beats

Deep House compilation. Fusion of podcast (as a 60 minute mix track) and compilation (10 individual tracks) in one free format.

Excellent, long running series of netlabel compilations, having amassed over 450 episodes between 2006 and 2018. This compilation features tracks from netlabels Budabeats, Broque, and others. Continue reading “Various Artists – [2010] netwaves 04.28: new beats”

Various Artists – [2010] netBloc, Volume 30: Aldartea

Exceptional pop compilation. Outstanding quality from start to finish in 12 tracks.

I’ll directly pass the microphone to the curator:

The netBloc series is my humble attempt to shine some light on music that truly deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.

And this is exactly what he has accomplished with (as of 2018) just over 50 compilations that show the potential of netaudio culture, both in breadth and depth. It’s almost unfair to select among those, but I have my routines: Continue reading “Various Artists – [2010] netBloc, Volume 30: Aldartea”