steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


Various Artists

"Electronic Messages" CD

Brown Coffee Recordings

Genre: electronic, techno, IDM

June 22, 2009

Compiled by Pierre Parenteau, Electronic Messages collects the efforts of an international group of independent electronic music producers, culled primarily from the KVR Audio message boards. Despite the lo-fi presentation of the release, the music contained within is remarkably polished and professional.

The bulk of the tracks on this record derive influence from IDM icons like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, and Autechre. 3Am's superb "Obstacles Dear to My Heart," for example, is a beautifully mechanical tidbit that would sound completely at home on a Warp release (think the Artificial Intelligence compilation); it also ranks as one of this disc's best. Other excellent works of headphone techno come courtesy of SampleScience (Parenteau's project), Mauseoleum (whose track is remarkably melodic), and Bogh. Beyond the IDM lies some swell ambient work (Carlos Natale, Victor Eijkhout) as well as more minimal techno (Necrosensual, Gary Flanagan). But what's most remarkable is how well these folks all pull off their respective compositions. Remarkably for a CDR compilation, very little disappoints on Electronic Messages, and audiences keen on the mid-90s Warp/Rephlex/Plus 8 canons are encouraged to take note. You will be very pleased to discover that the tradition is still alive today.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 16 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]