23/30 compilation dance synth

various artists – síntesis moderna: an alternative vision of argentinian music 1980-1990

As space for fringe behavior becomes surrounded, the importance of art tends to swell in dense, contained pockets. From the mid-1970s to 1983, Argentina was battling a right-wing dictatorship bent on widening the gap between rich and poor. This is a glitzy soundtrack not to freedom, but to resistance. It involves hypnotic grooves and deadpan […]

29/30 compilation grime hip-hop revisited review

run the road vol. 1 – various artists (2005)

Brits, en générale, don’t tend to construct as many lyrical layers in their bars as The Americans. Run The Road is a fantastic exhibition of how that doesn’t have to matter: lines like “I’m famous like Lenny Henry” take on a self-aware directness when surrounded by grime production and massive beats. The compilation was siphoned […]

28/30 compilation folk Isicathamiya Maskanda Mbaqanga Mqayisho revisited review

various artists – the indestructible beat of soweto (1985)

With the colossal status of Afrobeat and African rhythm more generally, it is hard to conceive of this compilation as groundbreaking. As it was at the time, this is the global record of 1985 and for some, the most important record of the 80’s. In its twelve songs, ‘TIBOS’ soaks up South Africa like a […]

27/30 compilation electronic experimental revisited review

5: five years of hyperdub – various artists (2009)

The early years of one of Britain’s most important electronic music labels marked a sonic shift from the tectonic bass of dubstep. Kode9 and his connectors emphasised wiry glitches, massacring samples and testing sounds in a way that upended what electronic music could be. It no longer necessarily orbited around dance or a summit of […]

27/30 ambient compilation electronic idm industrial revisited review

abfhart hinwil – links berge rechts seen (2002)

This 2002 compilation of Abfahrt Hinwil’s short-lived electronic existence is a sprawling, metallic opus of ambient dance music. As one Discogs reviewer types: ‘(S)trictly digital romance’. This record, put on wax for the first time in May of 2020, exhibits prismatic sonic bursts that are perhaps no more mysterious than the beating steel heart of […]

24/30 compilation experimental folk

OKI – tonkori in the moonlight (1996-2006)

OKI has never seen a traditional tonkori player: “they were all dead when I started”. Had musical distribution then been as sophisticated as it is today, the tonkori may never have flirted so perilously with extinction. Just as we are lucky to have found his music, the instrument was lucky to have found OKI’s fingers. […]