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V/A – Notochord

V/A - Notochord

CD, Notochord, 2006

Notochord, a newly formed collective and label in the underground electronics scene has chosen a compilation to be its first release as a label. Thus, the aptly titled “Notochord” compilation was created, consisting of the work of seven projects and artists. At 15 tracks and clocking at a full 74 minutes, the release is set as quantity goes.
As for the quality, if the names of the artists aren’t enough to reassure you, then actually listening to the compilation will certainly dissolve any doubt.
Starting with one out of the three tracks that comprise Slacknote’s contribution, the pace for the majority of the album is set by the upbeat track that borders between D’n’B and more experimental material with it’s complex synths built on fast-paced percussion. The Semiomime track that follows alters the pace somewhat, also going for a more organic sound and feel, without ever growing slow or boring. Wisp’s additions offer a less melancholic version of his exquisite work than what was witnessed in his “Nrthndr” debut. Stephen James Knight (a.k.a. Edgey) also puts up a great show with his contributions which, while lacking the noisiness that’s been characteristic for his work with Hands, are by no means any less energetic. Autoclav1.1’s Tony Young also assists in the upbeat segment of the disc, but also by providing a slower sound through a remix track by Liar’s Rosebush. Blue T-Shirt’s submissions are both in the slower and more collected spectrum of the album, again without feeling out of pace or place within it. Finally, there’s the two tracks by Sunao Inami which are most probably the most experimental additions to the album.
All in all, this compilation provides a robust listening experience, providing a lot of memorable moments with its upbeat mixture of breakcore, D’n’B, IDM and electro, while the slower tracks have their own beauty, often serving as interludes between the quicker tracks but without ever feeling bland or filler. A great compilation, and a great start for Notochord, that can only leave good expectations for the future of the label.


— George Mouratidis

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