Various Artists - AM 10th Anniversary
Compilations can be a thing of beauty or a complete mess. Many labels gather talent underneath their belts and create yearly or anniversary collections featuring a ton of their artists. In this regard, German record label Adventurous Music has gathered a ton of like-minded individuals for their tenth anniversary compilation "AM 10th Anniversary". Unfortunately, the compilation is not as well-rounded as I would have liked it to be. While, sure, there are some artists on the compilation that nail their chosen subgenre, most of the tracks on the album are either uninspired, simplified, boring, or a general trudge to get through.
Hendekagon & Matti begin the album with “Synchronicité’. While the voice samples are rather unnerving and dreamlike, the synth works within this ambient / drone piece are rather bare bones and simple. Nonetheless, because of the vocal samples, it does have a decent output. The following track, Yann Novak’s ‘Crashing Waves Of Dysphoria’, is about as standard as you can get for drone and dark ambient music. There’s a couple of synths, a bit of static noise above it, and a cavernous-like feeling. It’s nothing special, though it’s produced well. I had very, very similar feelings about Francis Theberge’s ‘Hörère’, so there’s really no point in lingering on the subject.
While INYAN’s ‘Ten’ has a very foreboding and ominous structure, what ruins it is the amount of times the word “ten” is repeated by the same voice over and over and over again. I guess if you really love the word “ten”, then you’re going to love this song. What I really enjoyed about Coppice Halifax’s ‘Sinking Magenta’ was the dreamlike structure it has with the synths. In the beginning, ever so slowly does a bassline form with this music. I do think it’s way too long, however; the eight-minute and fifty-second playtime is not substantiated with enough texture within. It’s good, but could have easily been cut down to three-and-a-half to four minutes as to not sound stale. Kid Kozmore’s ‘Something Is Wrong’ is an experimental piece with lots of high-pitched synths. I would not describe this so much as a song as I would someone attempting to replicate 50s B-movie sci-fi sound effects. While they may have succeeded, listening to this for three-and-a-half minutes is not very appealing.
The first song that I really appreciated on the compilation comes with Signalstoerung’s ‘X’. While it’s experimental in nature with tons of odd electronic sounds, the deep bass rhythm and ticking drumwork gives it rhythm and style that makes it fun. The fun continues with Jóhann Eiriksson’s underground techno song ‘Threads’. The beginning is a cinematic build up to the main bassline. While I could have wished for a bit more variation throughout the song, it’s intended for dancefloors. And at six-minutes and fifty-six seconds, it delivers. After that we move into Defaults’ ‘Stop Watering Dead Plants In Your Life’. The interesting choice of using what sounds like reversed notes would have been better received if the song were not so repetitive. I very much enjoyed Froid’s ‘She Wants’. There’s a raw sense to the electronics while the bassline is crisp and clear. It creates a very serene playing field that I fell in love with.
A lot of the ambient synth work on Nyppy’s ‘Insomnia’ is fairly standard for the genre. I like the slow crawl the song has but I felt as if it took to long to get there. The final minute or so of the song is not worth my time; it’s a slow descent into nothingness and I was not too fond of it. Conure’s ‘The Time Is Near’ is a noise song where a wall is built; it’s not as harsh as, well, harsh noise but it’s a wall nonetheless. It wobbles and there’s faint gust-of-wind like sounds. Nonetheless, I didn’t find this track worth the five-minutes and fifty-three seconds; there’s not a lot of meat to it and is rather boring. To put Veronica Moser’s ‘Zyria’s Tooth’ simply, if you like your techno sounding as if it’s playing on a broken radio, then this song if for you. Unfortunately, that is not how I enjoy my techno.
Θ covers Nyppy’s track ‘Avoider’. It’s another slow crawling piece. It’s more cinematic than anything, thanks to the brighter synth work. However, a lot of the rumbly parts of the song have a much more sinister and organic nature. It’s a good pairing. But, again, I wish there was more to the song as it can get quite boring and one-noted at times. For the first two-and-a-half minutes of Jo Montgomerie’s ‘Unearth’ it sounds like there’s absolutely nothing going on. I hear something crawling through an abandoned building or something similar. Then there’s a horror-based noise that comes on to pair with the song. But it’s not enough to keep me engaged. It’s a song I was easily distracted from time and time again. Thedi’s ‘LESzO02’ is a noise song through-and-through that, like many other noise songs, dissolves into a putrid mess of analog static. There’s no real rhyme or reason and just falls into a category of bland noise that I’ve heard one too many times.
C-Drik’s ‘Matriarch’s Dance’ has running water and computer blips. That’s it. It’s a pass for me. The next song, Gallery Six’s ‘The River Shines Eternally’ also has running water sampled. Fortunately, it sounds much better than the previous track. Utilizing beautiful, if a bit simple, ambiance overtop, it’s a soundtrack to lush gardens. Again, I would like to have seen more variation, but what I get from this is nice. Neglerct’s ‘Chetemoke’ is a song that I completely wrote off. The sound of the sea can be relaxing, but hearing it for four-minutes straight with barely a sound in between was rather boring. Sure, the latter half of the nine-minute and fifteen-second song has some meat, but at that point I was finished.
Krummhörens Kuhlen’s ‘Pösgraben NordMore’ is more noise rubbish that fits the generic sound without ever trying to be unique. There are interesting sounds to say the very least on Elias Zorn’s ‘Skifting’; it sounds like electronic cymbals clashing with one another. However, when you base your whole track around this one sound, it gets old rather quick. Fail’s ‘Not Very Muchness’ is a drone track that doesn’t have much going for it. Atmospheric sound aside, there’s a ton of static samples played beneath that unable to be understood. Some songs that I’ve listened to allow the voices to be heard to establish some kind of concept; this is just buried. The final song, 16Pad Noise Terrorist’s ‘Anakr_n1sm’, is an experimental techno piece. Lots of quirky electronics mixed with light basslines. There’s plenty of variation, though the minimal presence could have been substantiated a little bit more with depth.
So, as stated above, yes there are some tracks on here that are worth revisiting, most notably in Signalstoerung, Jóhann Eiriksson, and Froid’s efforts. However, I’d say that almost every single other track are either passable or have some kind of flaw that doesn’t make me wish to put them in a playlist. Which means that I don’t view Adventurous Music’s twenty-three track compilation all that favorably. Four-and-a-half out of ten.
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Nov 29 2021
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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