V/A :: Kollektion Fall 2010 (Katabatik.org)

The Kollektion seems to break down into three movements: a panicked chase leads into a steady run, which, somehow, stumbles into a falling dream.

V/A 'Kollektion Fall 2010'

Katabatik Records’ Fall Kollektion features eighteen widely varied artists.  It’s a somewhat intimidating work to review. Not only am I reviewing individual artists’ work, taken out of the contexts of their EPs and LPs, but I’m also reviewing their work in this new context (Kontext?), given by the good people at Katabatik (and at no charge, mind you).  This compilation feels more like a theme album than a showcase of a label’s artists. The Kollektion seems to break down into three movements: a panicked chase leads into a steady run, which, somehow, stumbles into a falling dream.

Nommo Ogo opens the compilation with “The Ancient Ones.”  With vocals reminiscent of Ohgr, this piece feels like an homage to mid-nineties industrial; in other words, a perfect lead-in to an album that spans genres and genres of electronic music. Not Breathing’s “Ghost Cave” opens atmospheric, but then gets quickly but subtly heavy. The listener feels like she’s being chased down an endless alley. Heartbeats race. You may hear footsteps behind you, but don’t look back. This sets the tone for the first third of the Kollektion. Then, somewhere in there, we find our groove. We’re still running, but we’ve found our pace. It’s almost hypnotic. R.M.S.’s “Untied” feels like that moment when you’ve gotten your legs. You feel like you could run forever. The world no longer matters. You run. You dance. The drugs have kicked in, and they may never end, but it’s not the drugs moving us. It’s the music. That’s all our rattled brains can hear. Then, by the time we reach C.O.T.A.’s “The End of Summer,” we’ve left the ground. Somewhere in all the noise and beats, without realizing it, we’ve pitched ourselves off a cliff. We’re in a freefall fever dream, coming closer and closer to impact, but, somehow, we don’t mind at all. Riding this wave, this dream, Anthony Bisset’s chilled, down tempo “Cannabis Vatican” seems like the perfect way to end the Kollektion. It all makes sense. We’ve been listening to the last music written in the first decade of this strange new millennium of ours. It’s easy to forget that just over ten years ago, the world was supposedly ending. We were to live in bunkers. No intarwebz for you! But the world didn’t end, and here we are, looking at the end of our first ten years after the predicted Fall of Civilization, and we can’t really help feeling that nothing can touch us now.

But did I say that was the end?  Oh no, it only seemed like the perfect ending to such a post-apocalypse-that-never-was album. No, the icing on the cake for the Kollektion has to be “_,” an oh-so-tongue-in-cheek track by an unknown artist. After this long, panicked-to-dream-like journey, the only real way to end it is with a joke; a joke about a jay-walking vampire. He’s evil, y’all.

Kollektion Fall 2010 is out now on Katabatik. [Listen & Download]

Update:
Katabatik will be releasing their third MP3 Kollektion (Winter 2011) in a few weeks. The Winter compilation will have tracks from Notstandskomitee, Rude 66, Exillon, Identity Theft, Fluorescent Grey, Dimentia, RMS, Prion, Lacedon, Psychotigen, Nezzy Idy, Pu22l3+ a few others. The concept with these compilations is to do four per year, roughly at the solstice and equinox points. We also intend on releasing some kind of physical version of these last four on Summer Solstice 2011, coinciding with a weekend campout/festival in Northern California.

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