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Various Artists – MMX

[MP3, n5MD] [AEONFLOW RECOMMENDS]

In the opening days of 2010 Californian label n5MD released a free MP3 collection of tracks drawn from their forthcoming release schedule.  Released in conjunction with Bandcamp and exclusively available through the n5MD page on the Bandcamp website, MMX – the Roman numeral equivalent of 2010 – is the first in a series of label samplers to be released through the partnership.

Featuring one track from each of their upcoming releases for the year, MMX is a teaser of what to expect from their roster of new and long-standing artists, all of whom continue to develop their sound or introduce themselves to fans of the label.

Opening with the calming melodic tones of Near the Parenthesis’ “Not Here, Not Tonight” from the upcoming Music for the Forest Concourse album and the experimental acoustic pop of Ent’s “Welcome Stranger” – the title track of his 2009 album on Japan’s Preco Records now available in an n5MD version – MMX eases into things gently.  It is “Guns, Knives, Lemons” by Proem that changes the mood with precise electronics, elastic basslines, crisp beats and unsettling atmospheres; a deliciously dark track that immediately flags his forthcoming album as one to look out for.   MMX also provides the first glimpse of Icelandic electronic musician Jonas Thor Gudmundsson’s project Ruxpin in the form of “A Sunrise (and They Turned to Stones)” from the forthcoming album Where Do We Float From Here? which offers an intriguing blend of modern electronic genres skilfully mixed with a playful sense of mischief and an appreciation of experimental electronics.  Treating us to a deep experimental dub monster are Funckarma; “Daltz Fango”slowly grinds along mutating as it goes, building interacting layers, creeping cinematic atmospheres and weird electronic sounds criss-crossing and flying in from all angles.  A crazy but enthralling concoction of sounds that tingles the tastebuds for the forthcoming album from the Funcken brothers.

Another Electronic Musician (AEM) continues to explore the interaction of ambient atmospheres with melodic experimental electronics with “Fields and Axioms” from States of Space.  Flooding the senses with radiant ambient tones, gentle rhythms and melodic electronics AEM delivers another gorgeously mellow album drawing on many influences and combining them in his own unique way.  Another newcomer, Grecian born electro-acoustic artist Maria Papadomanolaki in the guise of Dalot, is introduced with a short track entitled “Above the Rooftops” which is similar to AEM in style but utilises crisper electronics and darker atmospheres.  Lights Out Asia’s “We Fit into Castles” is typically beautiful, serene and ethereal in its early stages.  Soaked in floating vocals, sparkling melodies and slow drifting textures it effortlessly floats along before briefly hinting at something sinister at the halfway point and introducing tumbling, glistening guitar-enhanced rhythmic ambience until its close where it again briefly hints at something darker before fading away completely.  subtractiveLAD’s “The Deep and Lovely Quiet” from Life at the End of the World is exactly as you might expect; a truly gorgeous ethereal ambient track that aches with deeply personal feeling and heartfelt emotion.

Wrapping things up is n5MD label owner Mike Cadoo’s own solo project Bitcrush with the title track of his forthcoming Of Embers album.  Picking up where subtractiveLAD left off, Cadoo brings his own brand of transcendent ambient texture, adding melodies and bassy guitar tones for added presence before heavier electric guitar flourishes and soaring electronics bring a sense of glorious optimism and radiant euphoria to the second half of the track.  On the strength of the last two tracks alone subtractiveLAD’s Life at the End of the World and Bitcrush’s Of Embers are two more essential purchases for this year.

Already available through n5MD and the usual outlets are the n5MD version of Welcome Stranger by Ent with bonus remixes by Kettel, Near the Parenthesis and Helios, States of Space by Another Electronic Musician and Life at the End of the World by subtractiveLAD.  Coming next are Of Embers by Bitcrush, Where Do We Float From Here? by label newcomer Ruxpin and Music for the Forest Concourse by Near the Parenthesis.

n5MD set a high standard in melodic experimental electronics right from its inception and on the strength of MMX that standard is set to continue throughout the year.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Download:
n5md.bandcamp.com

Artists:
Near the Parenthesis – www.neartheparenthesis.com
Near the Parenthesis – www.myspace.com/neartheparenthesis
Ent – www.myspace.com/entjp
Proem – www.proemland.com
Ruxpin – www.myspace.com/jonasruxpin
Funckarma – www.funckarma.com
Another Electronic Musician – www.anotherelectronicmusician.com
Another Electronic Musician – www.myspace.com/anotherelectronicmusician
Dalot – www.voicesoundtext.com
Dalot – www.myspace.com/dalot
Lights Out Asia – www.lightsoutasia.com
Lights Out Asia – www.myspace.com/lightsoutasia
subtractiveLAD – www.subtractivelad.com
subtractiveLAD – www.myspace.com/sublad
Bitcrush – www.bitcrush.net
Bitcrush – www.myspace.com/haveyoulostyourway

Label:
www.n5md.com

Published by Igloo Magazine [March 3rd 2010]

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