V/A :: Grey City (ZCKR)

Grey City is far from ashen. Leaden clouds hang over some tracks, deluges of audio hail pummeling the unsuspecting listener. But that is just with certain pieces. Sunshine breaks, puddles form and evaporate, skies turn from golden to black before returning to azure.

V/A :: Grey City (ZCKR)

Tautology is a terrible thing. But it can be hard to get away from. People repeat. Phrases. Specific words. Cliches. I’m no different and I find it sometimes hard to avoid duplicity when talking about electronic music.

Now I’ve covered ZCKR Records a couple of times. Their willingness to sidestep convention, to go it their own way has been mentioned before. If there’s ever been proof of this the latest music packed compilation is the pudding.

Grey City, as the ZCKR collective describe their native Bremen, brings together a host of local and lesser known talent. The result is a musical mezza. Industrial. Techno. Breakbeat. Noise. IDM. Name it, it’s in here.

Eleven tracks are crammed onto the LP and debutants flow thick and fast. “Static” is the mellow and rich first foray from Tal, a steady beat supporting lilting wisps of synth. Breaklab keeps that undercurrent of electronica, but he’s to be found on the flip. In between comes piston polka from PPE, rinsed loneliness from Shepard Tone and even a bit of side-swiped indie from Sproede Lippen. As soon as one genre pops up it’s batted away. Robin introduces himself with the glitched breakbeat sounds of “Sanctuary” and the 90s memories it recalls are carried into the speedy techno of Tobs. Grunting gurgling noise leads the record out, both Abstract Pictures and HSV delivering friction filled forms.

I’ve never been to Bremen. Google images show a sunny and lively town. Grey City is far from ashen. Leaden clouds hang over some tracks, deluges of audio hail pummeling the unsuspecting listener. But that is just with certain pieces. Sunshine breaks, puddles form and evaporate, skies turn from golden to black before returning to azure. A supremely diverse 12”, one which will give any newcomer a wide-lens view of ZCKR.

Grey City is available on ZCKR. [Shop]

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