steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"Dielectric Records Volume One" CD

Dielectric Records

Genres: experimental electronic, IDM, drone 

Dielectric Records
472 1/2 Alcatraz Avenue
Oakland CA 94609

Feb 16 - 22 2004

The art of the compilation.  Such a complicated thing.  Everything is about balance and flow.  And on Volume One of Dielectric's sampler series, there isn't a moment where things don't work perfectly.

This disc gives you sixteen tracks by five different Dielectric acts, and though all of this fits under the general IDM, electronica, and drone tags, there's still quite a bit of variety on display here.  Things start off with Sote, who contributes two.  "Wicked Trust" is a long, experimental electro epic (think Autechre, Aphex Twin, and the Suction Records roster - Lowfish especially - all wrapped into one) and "XOXO," from a 12" of the same name, is a step away from power noise.  Virgox also adds two high quality, clicky, beaty pieces to the compilation.

However, this compilation's best tracks come from Carson Day.  His four pieces fall under the clicky IDM banner, except also boast some deceptively unique, strong hooks.  "Get Hurt," for example, is one of the most enjoyable electronic songs to come out in a long while - aside from a crunchy, complex rhythm, the use of an uplifting melody and some neat, big-beat-esque vocal samplage really tops the cake.  The creepy "Come Here Often" is also a highlight.

The compilation is finished off by four tracks each by Die Elektrischen and Karen Stackpole.  The former's pieces are glitchy and highly experimental (think Mego or Skipp acts), whereas the latter, Karen Stackpole, plays pure drone using acoustic instruments like gong and cello.

Dielectric Records Volume One is a very good sampler - all of these pieces should appeal to enthusiasts of daring, experimental electronic and acoustic music.  With a roster like this, Dielectric Records is looking like a very promising new label. 


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 16 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]