"Quality Home Recorded Masterworks Vol. 1" CD
Fan Belt Records
Genres: lo-fi, electronic, indie pop
Oct 25 - 31 2004
Quality Home Recorded Masterworks Vol. 1 is the first in what I
hope will be a long line of compilations from upstart DIY label Cuban
Fan Belt. This gathers seventeen songs from the imprint's
various projects, including some extremely good stuff by hometaper Zero
as the Reference and creative rock band Hierophant.
While lo-fi music isn't for everyone - particularly when it is as
eclectic and unconventional as this is - a true DIY artifact like this
only comes along every so often.
On Quality Home Recorded Masterworks, there are eight
different lo-fi acts contributing. Bassmental Sound System
starts things off with their lone submission, a predictably bass-centred
slab of DIY dub; despite its simplicity, it's a surprisingly cohesive
and enjoyable piece of music. Zero as the Reference's two
contributions are short, lovingly hometaped pop songs; the band is
intriguingly unconventional, but also committed to churning out
quality melodic product - I'd love to hear some of their other
work. Tall Tooth and the Rain both work in the
electronic medium; the smooth, chilled-out "Neural
Floodgates" is a definite highlight.
Unknown act Fuel Wheel accounts for some of this disc's best
material. Their two songs are lo-fi, folk-pop masterpieces that
recall Jefferson Airplane, Koester, and Pavement
all at once - I can't find any information about the band, but with
songs like these I sure hope they're working on some other
releases. Epic rock band Hieroplant, amazing electro-folker
Geographic ("Formless Faire" is a
revelation), and electro-rock absurdist Field Test Collective
round out the disc.
I'll be looking out for Cuban Fan Belt in the future. A
compilation like this is worthy of your attention.
Fun Fact: A "heirophant"
(the name of one of this compilation's bands) is defined as "an
interpreter of sacred mysteries or arcane knowledge." It is
also a figure that appears on a Tarot card, where it represents
education, a strong belief system, groupwork, and conformism.
You can see more here.
17 tracks, distributed by CD
Baby, released 2004]