Review: Various Artists – Artificial Selections

a3207601573_10More then a week ago, a new compilation emerged out of the alternative underground. A compilation that caught people off guard because of the beautiful representation of cold-wave, post-punk and experimental selections – including a wider variation of genres. Featuring both unrepresented artists and those who are not. First off are Excuses, the solo-project by Matthew Rowe whose debut was put out on the now defunct label Function Operate, back in 2012. This self-titled release featured five songs but his contribution to the compilation was with the track “We Are Fuel“. It is a raw track which lets a dodgy atmosphere with shoegaze fill out the sound-scape, together with the ambivalent riffing you’d only find within darker post-punk. Although his vocals on this song isn’t up to par with the rest of the landscape of sound, it is held up by the general mood that he delivers with sincerity. I just wish it was coupled with a better vocal representation because right now it sounds too cheesy. But I must say that it is a good opener which sets the bar for the rest of the compilation higher up.

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Spotlight: Warmline – Sad (Re-Release)

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A duo that you probably haven’t even heard about, due to their mystical appearance, both aesthetically and musically – is Nic Hamersly. When searching out Nic Hamersly, he first appears on The Scrap Mag‘s first compilation titled “The Scrap Mag First Compilation 0001“, under his own name. Well, no wonder that he does that, after all – he’s most known as Ortrotasce, his minimal synth-pop moniker. By knowing that, it makes this even more interesting. Together with Jacob Hales, he produced an album titled “sad“, that had gloomy post-punk with notable influences like shoegaze and darkwave, experimenting with those genres together. This release was sadly self-released by them in 2011, which meant that it had been dug into the muck. Thankfully, Ritual Tapes unearthed their gem – re-releasing it, but bringing out other surprises as well. Originally, they also released two tracks under the name of “Instrumentals” the same year. Instead of just re-releasing both releases as one, Ritual Tapes have gathered their first five tracks from their album, and balanced it out with tracks from demos, compilations which includes everything from “sad” to “Instrumentals“, and “Black Earth” – but they’re not limited to just that.

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Ten tracks spanning up to 42 minutes, with the additional female vocals of Chloe Kendall on the 5th track titled “Empty“. Featuring an A Side and a B Side, whereas the B Side feature tracks created from 2011 to 2014. Nic Hamersly hand-picked these tracks together with the label Ritual Tapes. Everything on this cassette, except the track “No Tomorrow“, written by Nic Hamersly and Jacob Hales, was solely written and performed by Nic Hamersly. This might interest those of you whom are very into the gothic rock of yesteryear, but need that shoegazer fix appropriated into the atmosphere of the tracks. It’s all-in-all a very devoted release, and a very interesting one, especially for those of you who might’ve followed Nic Hamersly’s work with the solo-project Ortrotasce. Even though some of the synthesizer-sound might be alike in some of the tracks, this is something entirely different. You can stream the whole release down below.