110 Below/New Electronica
110 Below is a sub-division of the always reliable New Electronica label. If the artists that appear on NE are the underground side of new electronic music then, if this compilation is anything to go by, 110 Below must be interested in the more familiar names at work in the genre. Brian Eno, Future Sound of London, Jah Wobble and Muslimgauze all make an appearance here.
FSOL's Smokin Japanese Base is the soundtrack to a digital 40s noir thriller, complete with trumpets and water lapping at the harbour side - where the dead body of some sleazy lowlife will shortly be found. Eno's Fractal Zoom undergoes the 'Native Mix II' treatment. Not having heard it before now, I've no idea how much this has been changed. But Gary Numan lead synths and sweeping ring modulation sounds sit surprisingly well alongside vocoderish voices and chart dance rhythms.
The Thessalonians' self-describing Serious Ancient Rhythm plays tablas and ambient chords off one another in the 'Blood Red Crescent Moon' mix. Tablas also feature on Material's eastern inspired Mantra, whilst 3 Heights by Urban Dance Squad is a rambling funky jam that clocks in at a foot-tapping eight minutes. The trancey Sun by Planet Jazz and the aboriginal groove of Squid's Overdub round off a strong, diverse and inspirational compilation. 7/10