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Fat Cat Compilation
"Split Series 9-16"
by: Zero Sharp

In the wonderful tradition of releasing compilations for those of you "who don't buy white labels," Fatcat Records is releasing the second compilation of selected tracks from its split series 12." The split series is a set of ongoing releases of the edgier, more experimental side of electronic music that is remarkably on to the point of legend is ironically missed out on by even some of the most passionate electronica listeners. The usual reason they are overlooked is due to their limited editions and minimal packaging; they are known only by holepunches in their white outer jacket. If inspected more closely, the inner black jacket reveals that this is a split ep, and that the artists on there are ones you're likely to know. The first to start on the album is Duplo Remote with the track "Furry Bicycle." If it sounds like it should be childish and chaotic, it is; machine sounds and beeps are poured into a hip hop beat, giving a strangely funky, grabbing first track. This track is followed by another hip hop style track, DAT Politics' "Et Hop." As the track progresses, the standardish beats and samples are slowly taken over by synth stutters, bringing a refreshing angle to the song. Christoph de Babylon follows up with a track in the pounding, aggressive drum and bass style that he does so well called "Cum On (Feel This)." Kid 606 is in his normal, spastic form for "Flutter." and the Com.a track is also in the same glitchy style. From there, the album takes a more mellow turn for most of the rest of it. "Popbeat" by Process is a much more minimal affair set in an ambient backdrop; its techno beat and keyboards are a good way to segway. Fennesz's "47 Blues" is well done piece, consisting almost entirely of guitar strums. The garbled voices of Main's "Rive (Pt.1)" and warped, wailing choir of "Crumbling Land" by Avey Tare follow later. In the mix, there's some brilliant house/techno given by Ultra-Red, the piano-based piece of David Grubbs, the scratchy noise of QT?, and the sounds of daily life given by Alejandra & Aeron. Although I may sound like a broken record, for those fans of edgy leftfield who don't already own this stuff, this is one of the best compilations in a long time. For the rest, this is an excellent place to get introduced to one of the best experimental series releases out there. I'm not sure I could recommend anything any more highly.


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