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Compilations - Issue 603

Interstellar Funk Presents: Artificial Dancers – Waves Of Synth

V/A

Interstellar Funk Presents: Artificial Dancers – Waves Of Synth

Rush Hour
8.0
Following more than a decade of synth and wave reissues from labels like Dark Entries, Minimal Wave, and Mannequin, it’s hard to believe that there are still gems left to be unearthed, but Interstellar Funk has risen to the challenge. Backed by Rush Hour, the Dutch artist has put together a collection that lines up sought-after rarities from genre stalwarts Chris and Cosey, Clan of Xymox, Liaisons Dangereuses, and the Human League (whose distorted ‘JG’ is a notably far cry from ‘Don’t You Want Me’) alongside synth-centric cuts from more obscure outfits. The 12 tracks on Artificial Dancers span 40 years (1978-2018), but it’s a credit to Interstellar Funk that the vintage selections are effectively indistinguishable from the more recent offerings. The melodic post-punk of Batang Frisco (complete with extended guitar solo) sits comfortably next to the bleepy, industrial-tinged churn of Sociedades En Tetra Brik and the gothy swagger of Det Gylne Triangel, and even Richard Bone’s lengthy experimental excursion doesn’t feel like too much of an outlier. There’s a continuum at work here, and ‘Artificial Dancers’ does an excellent job demonstrating that synth and wave music is so much more than a nostalgia trip or a purely archival enterprise.
Shawn Reynaldo
Jamie 3:26 presents A Taste of Chicago

V/A

Jamie 3:26 presents A Taste of Chicago

BBE Records

A love letter to Chicago
7.0
With this love letter to Chicago’s underground house scene, Jamie 3:26 moves from the mid-’80s to the modern day, reinterpreting classic songs from Quest, Chip E, and Calendar. His edit of Mighty Science’s ‘The Lesson’, built around howls of laughter that playfully twist around stuttering synths, is brazen, if also a little irritating. But the pure rush of Jamie’s mixes of Quest’s ‘Mind Games’ and Calendar’s ‘Comin’ On Strong’ is undeniable, and makes you feel like you’re walking through the Windy City with a spring in your step. Both tracks represent the two sides of a city where electronic and soulful R&B enjoy feeding off one another. This is an imperfect but interesting compilation, and Jamie does well to capture the rapid hi-hats, off-beat hand claps, and funky grooves that have made his city’s scene so endearing.
Thomas Hobbs
Marc Acardipane - The Most Famous Unknown

Marc Acardipane

The Most Famous Unknown

Planet Phuture

This is Hardcore
8.0
When looking to origins of the rave- and techno-fuelled hardcore movement, Marc Acardipane stands out as the creator of a sound that defined part of the ’90s and evolved into a plethora of sub-genres. His 30-year output ranges from ‘We Have Arrived,’ his genre-defining anthem as Mescalinum United, to darker cuts as The Mover and the anthemic ‘Slaves To The Rave’ as Inferno Bros. ‘The Most Famous Unknown’ celebrates Acardipane through a well-curated collection of his various projects, highlighting well-known tracks alongside harder-to-find gems. There are also hefty remixes from an all-star cast that have been influenced by Acardipane: Body Sushi a.k.a. VTSS & Randomer, Dasha Rush, Solid Blake, and Umwelt. No wheels are being re-invented here but it’s a fantastic homage to an artist who pioneered a musical style that is seeing a well-deserved revival at the moment.
Zara Wladawsky