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).

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

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?

Continue reading “Various Artists – [2019] Fusion Compilation 12”

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.

Continue reading “Various Artists – [2007] Classic Accidents”

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):

Continue reading “Various Artists – [2007] Share It Spread It Love It”

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.

Continue reading “Various Artists – [2012] netBloc, Volume 39: Antididonai”

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”

Various Artists – [2011] netBloc Vol. 34: The Whitewash

History-rewriting compilation. Diverse selection of popular CC music from the era.

This release is a replacement (a whitewash) of previous netBloc Vol. 34 about ccMixter, which had to be redacted for some reason which is not completely clear to me to today. I was just surprised that my recollection, download and album art to this release did not match what is currently online… Bad for me, bad good for you. The whitewash has definitely not worse music than the original… Continue reading “Various Artists – [2011] netBloc Vol. 34: The Whitewash”

Various Artists – [2010] Intelligent Toys: We Make Music

Essential experimental IDM. 3 discs, 51 tracks of IDM à la Sutemos are an earful to chew on. Bring popcorn!

This compilation series by netlabel Sutemos is a little bit like vegetables: they are good for you, but they might not taste good at first. This release contains many different flavours, musical vitamins, experiments in sound design, genre-branching dubstep, IDM, cerebral techno, and lots of electro goodness in general. But, the sound is often outside the realm of “standard” harmony, often even completely devoid of it. Like these sentences, it takes some time to wrap one’s head around. So, if you are looking for easy listening while coding, please move on. If you want to enrich a late night party with an eccentric musical backdrop, give it a spin… Continue reading “Various Artists – [2010] Intelligent Toys: We Make Music”

Various Artists – [2011] Nine

Essential indie pop/rock compilation. Only 7 tracks, each covering a different style, makes this an essential part of CC music legacy.

diym netlabel is (or was?) a netlabel focused on non-electronic genres, that is, mostly rock and pop music. I have already covered their seventh compilation, called 7, in an earlier review. This ninth instalment is a small but excellent collection of mostly, but not only, quiet music: Continue reading “Various Artists – [2011] Nine”