This is a compilation that has its finger on the pulse of a local scene with a global influence and repercussions that are far reaching.
[Release page] Percussion Lab has been supporting electronic music in New York City, and the purveyors thereof for over ten years. Initially a college radio show conceived by Praveen Sharma, maybe better known as one half of the always excellent Sepalcure, or by his solo moniker Braille. These days Percussion Lab is a significant resource for electronic musicians and DJs, providing interviews, insights and mix hosting completely free and with absolutely no advertising. They also promote events and help to push through new talent via said events alongside some very established acts. This fine compilation, which features some rather well known producers is being sold at a ‘pay what you want’ price (minimum $0.99) via Bandcamp, with all proceeds going towards hosting costs and funding upcoming electronic music events around New York. Those servers don’t pay for themselves after all, and with no revenue from advertising or service charges this stuff is clearly a labour of love. These are the good guys, and are worth supporting. Also some proceeds will go towards Hurricane Sandy relief. I said they were good guys.
The compilation is a mix of some very well established artists, Daedelus, Sepalcure, Braille and Machinedrum for example, plus some lesser known acts from the New York scene, who despite this are very good indeed. Archie Pelago in particular are excellent, a trio consisting of cello, trumpet, saxophone and laptops (for their live shows). I came across them first via a remix they did on Eyelove’s EP Mysticism (Slime Recordings) that was the best track on it for my money. In fact, I would opine that their’s is a strong contender for my favourite track on the compilation, with its floaty mix of chilled jazz tinted instrumentation, field recordings, bouncy beats and cocktail party ambience. I love the combination of sax and cello particularly.
Sepalcure, as you would expect deliver a cracking contribution; Burial-esque soundscapes swirl around a rim shot centered beat with vocal cuts easing in and out of the foreground. The hissing background sounds remind me of material from the Aphex twin release Selected Ambient Works 85 – 92 (Warp Records) it has a certain nostalgic quality for me that makes me think of train stations for some reason!
The whole compilation has a very current feel to it. The beats are all excellently crafted and very conducive to head nodding, some tough sounding bass sounds are tucked away in there too. But it’s much more then this, the production is interesting, progressive and exploratory, with an emphasis on creating intriguing soundscapes that weave together throughout the collection. This is a compilation that has its finger on the pulse of a local scene with a global influence and repercussions that are far reaching.
Cambio is hugely recommended listening, and with a pay what you want price tag it’s hard to come up with a good reason not to get a copy. Especially when you consider how much Percussion Lab are doing, have done and hopefully will continue to do for the New York and global electronic music and DJ scene. Go and get it.