komposi003 is the third compilation released by Positron! Records and features tracks from Aizome, Amish Rake Fight, Atomica, Bounte, Micronaut, Milkfish, s.sturgis, and Scanalyzer.
komposi003 also includes the debut of "The Things You Do" by Eric Powell's (16 Volt) new project, Graphic, and Chris Randall contributes both his first solo song, "Be There Tonight," as well as the last Sister Machine Gun song, "Sink."
komposi003, the latest State of the Union release from Positron Records, is a landmark release for several reasons. Not only does it showcase the growing pool of talent that is the Positron Roster, it also heralds the first Chris Randall track and the last Sister Machine Gun track. But wait! you say, Chris Randall is Sister Machine Gun so what's the big deal? It's a paradigm shift, really. The last vestige of the Old Republic being swept away. And, with the inclusion of Scanalyzer and Micronaut tracks, there's actually a robust snapshot of the man's mindset right now. [And, to be fair, Miguel Turnazas has been an integral part in the last few records from both SMG and Micronaut.] Fortunately, for those uninterested in the dry analysis of What Was and What Is, komposi003, as a whole, is a pretty stellar collection of funkified electronics.
Starting off with a new track from Mike Fisher's Amish Rake Fight is either a brilliant or a deadly decision. Amish Rake Fight's "Artist with a Thompson" sets the bar so freakin' high, it's almost impossible for anyone else to come close. This opening salvo is a bubbling, capering ode to crackle jazz, a neuphoric homage to '40s noir that throws trumpets, a couple of wa-wa mutes, a double bass and a drum kit into a washing machine and sets it to SPIN. It's the sort of swing dancing free-for-all that makes men sweaty and ladies' skirts go wild. The tick-down of "Shame," a Wade Alin number under his Milkfish moniker, is a safe bet to follow the Rake Fight where the shuffling grit of noise filters and dubious dark alley echoes helps to tone down the high of the first track. Electronics purr and growl over the tick-tick drum kit while an atmosphere from the wrong side of the track blows smoke across the hot mic's. A laconic organ suggests there is melody living in this miasmic funk, but it is too shy to really step to the foreground.
Micronaut's "Quartz Clock" doesn't quite burn up like the recent Europa, but it slinks about playfully enough, working an indolent guitar against bubbling quartz-precision beats and a hiccuping vocal sample looped into a suggestion of a melody line. Randall's solo outing, "Be There Tonight," furthers my pet theory that he's positioning himself as the Bryan Ferry of the 21st century -- the crooner of choice for the Wasted and Wistful of the Transhuman Internet-Ready Generation. "Sink," the final Sister Machine Gun track, is an interesting coda for a band that started back in the "Rage and Disillusionment Via Industrial Guitar Noise" era. It's understandable why Randall is retiring the name: musically, he's got other interests; and, while "Sink" has the processed vocals and the undulating analog funk of 6.0, it's not a stretch to hear this as a stripped down Micronaut track with vocals strapped on top (kind of like "Perdition" on Europa, actually).
Speaking of re-inventions and resurrections, Eric Powell (of fellow "R&DVIGN" player, 16 Volt) sneaks onto komposi003 as Graphic with "The Things You Do," a sweet little number that riffs off a guttural Persian-influenced breakbeat and then sweet-talks you with a dizzying dirty boy whisper about those, you know, "things you do." It's no Romeo beneath the window speech, but it's more than enough to make you lock your daughters up at night. Adam Schabtach (chief engineer of plug-in gurus Audio Damage, Inc.) lands on komposi003 with "Terminal," a bit of swirling atmospheres, claustrophobic field recordings and Jarre-style synth -- all swoops and two-finger melodic progressions. The collection is rounded out with a pair of torch songs from Bounte and Atomica, a Micronaut reassembly of the closing track from Scott Sturgis' ambient psychedelia outing and a Scanalyzer track that burns at the edges but doesn't leave too many marks with its noise-laced electro-funk. All in all: a couple that clear the fence, a few solid hits and the rest are the handiwork of a team all working at the peak of their game. - Mark Teppo
A brilliant electronic compilation that features some electronic artists that I've reviewed recently and totally loved, starting with the album opener by Amish Rake Fight. Micronaut not only has a song on here but does a remix for an s.sturgis song. Positron Records is the label responsible for this nugget of brilliance and it happens to be a label by Sister Machine Gun's Chris Randall both of which have a track on here. In addition, Scanalyzer's "Culture Shock" will shake you up. Support this label and pick up this glorious compilation! - J-Sin
The CD is great collection of electronica tracks and will introduce most listeners to some artists they haven't heard before. While the CD jumps from style to style, it's all creative stuff, and a refreshing alternative to standard remix collections and four-on-the-floor dance compilations.
In fact, you'll find a surprising variety of beats and styles on the CD. Amish Rake Fight turns in a jazz influenced techno number, "Artist With a Thompson," which combines stand-up bass and trumpet with jagged machine beats.
The track gets the CD off to a great start, but there are many more highlights. Milkfish's "Shame" is glitch-filled but grooves; Bounte reworks 80's-tronica with "Going Nowhere," and Chris Randall contributes a vaguely Floyd-esque rock waltz, "Be There Tonight."
Atomica's "Airways" is another waltz, putting Lauren Cheatham's gorgeous vocals over a mix of jazzy keyboards, drums and weird electronic goodness. Sister Machine Gun wraps up the CD with "Sink," a scorching techno song.
All in all, komposi003 starts strong, hits a lot of highpoints and closes strong, showcasing some great new talent along the way.
If you think the electronica genre has grown a little tiresome, here's something to give it a little juice: komposi003, the third label-showcase compilation from Positron! Records. I was unfamiliar with all of the 11 artists on board, but now I have 11 artists to add to my "watch out for" list. Largely void of vocals, komposi003 fronts a nicely chilled groove overall, though the tracks themselves differ a bit, running the range from IDM to trip-hop. It opens with the jazz-cut/drum-and-bass funk of the aptly named Amish Rake Fight's "Artist with a Thompson," while Chris Randall's thick and humid "Be There Tonight" sounds like the late-night city-driving song of the summer. Aizome's "Terminal" was my favorite track, a Tangerine Dream-esque tune with airport ambience and a ticking-clock beat. With contributions from Milkfish, Micronaut and Scanalyzer, komposi003 proves the indie scene is where tomorrow's electronica stars are currently brewing. - Rod Lott
Positron! Records "mission statement" proclaims they release "eclectic music by eccentric artists." A statement of such magnitude generates a cautious approach.
Just what is eclectic anyway? Eclectic artists' off the top of my head quickly, I'd say: the Orb, Boards of Canada, Amon Tobin, Shpongle, and for good measure throw on some Aphex Twin, Kraftwerk and anything Luke Vibert touches.
Now think about that map for a moment—(pause...), and analyze the flow and the experimentalist nature of those artists. Hopefully a vision appeared and acted as a manifestation within the cranium.
Okay, jargon and stinging brainwork aside, the compilation entitled Komposi003 demonstrates this eclecticism the label so promotes. Sounding much like a bastard conglomeration of the list presented above, Komposi003 connects the dots and fills in the holes.
The 11-track compilation is a celebration of electronia, specifically listeners with an affinity for all things ethereal and introspective. Represented is anything from heady downtempo to meandering psychedelia, delivered in the diverse styles of IDM, trip-hop, glitch and industrial.
Thankfully, it isn't predicable. Each track is easily distinguishable—one moment spaced with Micronaut's "Quartz Clock," the next startled into the bluesy fuzz "Be There Tonight" by Chris Randall (interestingly by the same artist). The entire disc is presented in this way—jumpy and fragmented, yet strangely functional and stable.
Other tracks of note include the dance floor oriented "Culture Shock" by Scanalyzer, the female vocal trip-hop from Atomica "Airways," and the tripped-out ambience "euphondisson" by s.sturgis (reassembled by Chris Randall from Micronaut). Also included and finishing Komposi003 is the track "Sink" from long-time Chicago industrial minded act Sister Machine Gun.
For Positron! Recordings, this compilation alone is enough to back up claim of eclecticism. While it isn't electronica meant to burn up the dancefloor, it's definitely music to get the synapses firing—a perfect companion for the late night comedown. - Doug Wittner