steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"M1: A Magnanimous Compilation" CDR

Magnanimous Records

Genres: ambient, experimental, electronica

P.O. Box 541
Shepherdstown, WV 25443

Mar 22 - 28 2004

M1: A Magnanimous Compilation collects eight tracks from eight different ambient and electronic acts from Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  Though it's a small community, the town has apparently fostered quite a fertile base of new, experimental electronic music.  This cheap (six dollars), limited-to-100-copies release is recommended for those few music fans willing to give a new scene a try.

The main problem with this compilation will be its limited genre range.  There are many ambient music fans out there, but most might be hesitant to buy a disc filled with a bunch of no-name artists.  This is unfair, however, as lots of this record's material is quite good.

If one is able to overlook their obsession with brand-name electronic music, they will likely be pleased to discover quite a few positively enjoyable offerings on M1Matthew P.'s "Ruretiflurems," for example, is a brooding, evil soundscape, and Natrul's "Descending Part I" is engagingly dark.  A few of the tracks drag a bit however - Red Orchestra's "The Other Side," for example, is needlessly long and tiresomely uneventful.

Overall, this is a very solid compilation from a scene most people are likely completely unaware of.  I could see it being noticed more by the public if it were given away as a freebie or sold at a bargain basement price.


Fun Fact: Shepherdstown is the oldest town in the state of West Virginia!  Read more here.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 8 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]