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V/A – Hypercommunity

V/A - Hypercommunity Sampler

CD, Aliens Production, 2010

Aliens Production have the unhappy task of juggling some of the finest acts in electronic music today. I say unhappy as it cannot be easy to cope with the inevitable jealousies that will arise from rival labels desperate to add the likes of Oxyd, DisHarmony and Anhedonia to their stable. “Hypercommunity”, the latest label sampler from Aliens, is a showcase of this benchmark of excellence that all other labels should be aspiring to, and I can’t imagine a more apt name for the compilation: where the simplest form of community brings like-minded beings together to build something to the benefit of all, a hypercommunity must bring together only the brightest and best and, in so doing, build something that extends its beneficial reach well beyond its own borders.
The great drawback to this, of course, is the sheer scope presented on this compilation; it’s practically impossible to pin down any one direction that the plethora of artists are following, except perhaps the all-too-obvious ‘electronic’. We have, in brief, electro-operatics (very interesting approach, and a marvelous introduction to the CD) from DisHarmony in addition to their more regular Haujobb-esque dark electro. Soaring, evocative atmospheres aplenty are provided by the likes of Ish, Furthest from the Cold, LPF12, Headdreamer (who is also responsible for the disc artwork – which, incidentally, comes packaged in a very clever little ‘ejector’ jewel case), Ambiguous and the ever-remarkable Oxyd (from whose contribution the compilation takes its name). Some tasteful female vocals accentuate quasi-glitchy percussion in the form of Cybo’s offering, while L.I.O.8 dish up some highly unanticipated, but nevertheless very welcome, old-school EBM styling. Anhedonia, in at track three, start quite a trend towards the dark side, with grating harshness echoed by the likes of Apparent Symmetry and In a Mindset, then amplified by Structural Fault. Sec1nine13 stay firmly entrenched in the shadows, but take things down a notch or two, almost straying into the arena of martial ambience. Lastly, there’s some beautifully frenetic IDM, bordering on breakbeat, served up by Miktek. All in all, quite a selection, and quite a daunting task it is identifying highlights across this far-reaching range of sounds and styles. Personal taste comes into play here, and I cannot in good conscience force my own down anyone else’s throat – or auditory canals, as it were. Even technical nitpicking cannot isolate separate elements, as all production values are impeccable and the mastering is well-balanced, resulting in top quality reproduction all round.
Aliens serve up something excellent in the form of “Hypercommunity” – and the record forms both an excellent introduction to a very exciting label as well as a welcome sampler of new material for existing fans. If anything, the only negative aspect that really comes into play here is that the predominant reliance by these artists on artificial atmospheres does make for a somewhat repetitive background drone when listening to the disc in an enclosed space, for instance a compact car. Otherwise – highly recommended.


— David van der Merwe

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