"Melodies & Structures - Volume 1" Various Artists (Compilation Album, 2003)
This appeared in the DSO postbag from the previously undiscovered Canadian label 4mg. A limited edition (1000 copies) gatefold digipak compilation featuring twelve artists from around the globe. Its a refreshingly avant garde collection, featuring the likes of ex-Click Click vocalist Adrian Smith's PaPERHOUsE (which gets two tracks), out to the minimalist mechanical industrial genius of Napalmed's superbly-titled Raw Fabricunt II/22 (Inner Structure of the Machine) - which sounds... just like the insides of a working machine.
Sweden's Northern Electric perfectly revive fond early 80s memories of bands like Telex with their In The Night. A synthesiser, drum machine and Atari ST is all they need to conjure up a delightful trip back to a time when basic songwriting ability was more important than the amount of technology at one's disposal. Compiler Imrich Vegh (originally out of Slovakia) also has a couple of tracks under the project name Imiafan. And worthy entries they are too.
Kitten Majestique, Cabaret, with their stand out spacey, laid back groove Dawn Mist Glowing, The Only Michael's Dream Chamber, and Martin Burlas, who faintly reminds me of Henry Badowski, along with the aforementioned Napalmed and PaPERHOUsE, and more all have their own take on the electronic theme, meaning no two tracks sound even remotely similar. Thus ensuring that this compilation is never predictable.
Countries represented by this fourteen track collection include the Czech Republic, Brazil, England, Slovakia, Sweden, Poland and more. Melodies & Structures then provides a broad and fascinating overview of the international underground electronic music scene. From that rare beast, respectable retro synth pop, through to experimental industrial, this not only delivers a thoroughly pleasurable aural experience but presents a compelling case for eclectic selection policies. 7/10
Rob Dyer (April 2004)
Official 4mg website: http://www28.brinkster.com/4mgrecords
Metatoys Vol. 1 (R)