CD, UMB Kollektif, 2010
This is a free compilation celebrating the landmark of 10 years for the UMB label and includes a variety of artists from the label.
Geneviève Pasquier opens with some lo-fi crunch that reminds me of very early Meg Lee Chin on “Existance”. Her second offering is a lighter, far better produced melody “Nobodies Darling” that provides minimal percussion, chirping synth loops and soothing reverbed vocals. The Music Wreckers deliver “Cold Beat” and “Distorted Youth” that are the equivalent of early 90s garage industrial which invokes nostalgia and yet both songs lack the ability to hold my attention. Tonal Y Nagual continues the trend with unremarkable hard beats and simple synths on “Cog in the Machine” but quickly wins me over with the goth (almost Bauhaus) influenced “Loneliest Place”. Thorofon serves up the repetitive “Gigamesh” and “UHF Disco”. Dogpop manages to keep me listening simply due to the employment of melody in the vocals versus the percussive one line shout of prior bands on this release. “Deutschland” manages to maintain a simple drumline mixed with a few effects and simple vocal melodies while “Dogporn” returns me to early 90s Latouche but with even worse production. Kommando begins to save the day with the grinding bass line and Ministry influence of “Bones Under The Skin”. M.A.O. follow suite with a minimalist industrial drum circle complete with poor production but a catchy vocal progression on “Bluescreen”. On “Misery'”, M.A.O. play with a ring mod and the idea of over use of distortion to the point of sounding like tin-foiling being chewed and amplified. Jagerblut follow with a folk instilled “Hunting” that downright surprises me with how clean the production and guitar work are. Jagerblut continues to treat me with ‘ Gruss Vorn Krampus’ in an experimental soundscape imbued with acoustic guitar and choir. Finally, Lambitani close the compilation with two songs in polar opposition of one another with the minimal experimental “Neig Dich Tiefer” and the strange electro “Romantik”.
Even though this is a free release (and worth tracking down just because of that), it is a hard one to gauge due to the variety of styles and i think may turn away more people than it lures in due to the more accessible songs being placed mid way through the tracklisting. Highlights on this compilation include Tonal Y Nagual’s “Loneliest Place”, Dogpop’s “Deutschland”, M.A.O.’s “Bluescreen”, Jagerblut’s “Hunting” and Lambitani’s “Neig Dich Tiefer”. Simply put, if you can suffer the half of the compilation that sounds underproduced and compressed you will be rewarded by the gems hidden amongst them.
— James Church