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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Electricity Is Your Friend (Three Pin Recordings)

Posted: July 31st, 2006, by Dave Stockwell

Brand new Birmingham-based label 3 Pin Recordings offer up a CD compilation limited to 300 deluxe copies, coming in a printed cloth bad and housed in a trigger case with a 16 page booklet. Don’t ask me what a trigger case is because my review came in a slipcase. Ooh, there’s some CDROM content in the form of a video and some artist information too.

So who’s on it? Alongside a lot of newcomers there includes contributions from Dragon or Emperor (members of Volcano the Bear & Songs of Norway), Revox (of the Modified toy Orchestra), Daniel Padden (of his One Ensemble and VtB again) and the excellently-named Reverend Man Manly (of The Church of Noise). If you’ve heard any of these artists before you might have an inkling of what to expect from this compilation; lots of eclectic, experimental weird joy by a huge variety of performers.

Some highlights then for the uninitiated: Dragon or Emperor do an uncanny impression of The Jesus Lizard if they were armed only with bass and drums; a stunning track from Revox entirely sculpted out of interviews with talking heads; Daniel Padden’s beautiful solo piano track named after the prime chimp of Planet of the Apes; a bizarre deconstruction of a Beatles song by Jliat in homage to Steve Reich; two tracks by some guy called dead western who describes his music as “operatic folk”. Then there’s some really weird shit courtesy of CJ Pizarro; a beautifully haunting voice/synth textural piece by Sara Ayers; some excellent theoretical TV programme soundtracking by Sitcom Future Family; and a final cherry on top of this bizarre mess in the form of a hip hop track entitled “Terminally Ill” by Terms None and his mate The Mole. Class.

Add to all this by throwing in some bizarre spoken-word passages and samples interspersing the tracks just to disorientate the listener, and you’ve got a winningly confusing listen all round. This has been out for a couple of months now (yes, I am useless at doing reviews on time. Sorry), and is pretty damned limited so go! Go now! Go! Buy buy buy if your tastebuds are whetted. They certainly should be.


Dave Stockwell

David can always be relied on to end his e-mails with one of those 'np: blah blah' things in order to remind us of how much more music he listens to every day than anybody else. His interests include rockin ' out in a major style as guitarist in Souvaris, throwing frisbees from tall buildings "just to see what happens" and simply kickin' back with his bitches in a gold-plated jacuzzi.


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