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V/A – Fuck

V/A - r_va_fuck

CD, Hive Records, 2004

Being familiar with only a handful of the artists included on the “Fuck” compilation, I walked into the listening experience expecting something along the lines of nubile artists twisting away at the knobs of their brand new noise machines and tracks that may have taken twenty minutes to slap together. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not the case, and that “Fuck” is a very mature, intelligent compilation with quite a few gifted musicians arranged into the lineup.
Most of the music on “Fuck” can be described as a rhythmic assault, in that the artists’ aggression can be felt quite clearly in the first few tracks of the album (Censor’s “Freewill” comes to mind). The assault is not continuous, however. A very interesting and original-sounding selection from End breaks into the field and stirs the pot for a pleasant reprieve. End is followed by a bit of avant-garde and seemingly experimental music (I’m trying not to say “silly”… but “Everybody Dance” is pretty… silly…). Vectorscope picks up the reigns for the compilation’s swing toward ambience and is followed by an artist named Lapsed which is, in this author’s opinion, the most talented musician in the arrangement. The sound is reminiscent of a lighter version of Download or a lithium-stimulated Klinik and is quite enjoyable. Following Lapsed, the music bounces from rhythmic noise to mellow tempo pseudo-jazz and ends with a minimalist project named Mago. While Mago’s sound doesn’t really seem like it belongs on the album, it might have been thrown into the mix as a testament to Hive’s non-discrimination of artist selection. Whatever the case, Mago would be more at home in a psychedelic 60’s “best of”.
As previously mentioned, this is an intelligently created album and it’s obvious that a lot of time and effort went into forming it. Further, I know this is said about quite a few compilations… but a lot of thought was put into the placement of the artists on the album as they do tend to balance each other out very effectively and the listener is not bombarded with a continuous aural attack or bored to tears with non-abrasive ambiance. It was very easy for me to listen to the entire album several times in a row and not be uninterested with the musicians or the music. That’s a feat in and of itself, and it adds some bonus points to the overall score of 9.1 out of a possible 10.


— Ethan Cohen

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