V/A :: Various III (030303)

So what are you getting with this third compilation? You’re getting what 030303 have been doing since the doors opened, expanding the acid and braindance project.

V/A :: Various III (030303)

030303 is a label that has laid out quite a specific mandate in its six year existence. I tried to pin down the Utrecht imprint when I first came across it during those first vinyl steps: “the label looks at the corridors and avenues the influential sound of the 303 created and its place in modern electronics.” Bit flowery but close enough to what 030303 has been up to ever since. That continued fascination and exploration of the little silver box is plain to hear on the latest compilation fresh from the shores of The Netherlands.

This third symposium of the acid minded is probably the most motley collection I’ve seen across the installments. Some names jump from back of the sleeve, but not that many. Echo 106. Tick. The Schnüriger brothers of Lux Rec fame dishing up a wonderfully complex floor centered piece. Marco Bernardi. Of course. The ever capable Glaswegian showing his colder side with a frosted work of squelchy whirling electro. Global Goon. Yup. The Rephlex and 030303 alumni offers a soulful and different slice, slow and brooding moods swirl as styles converge.

But apart from this trio you might struggle for name recognition. Rolando Simmons I do know, his self titled EP being a firm favorite of mine. Here he delivers a strange yet compelling work of electronica. Cascading strings, steady pulses in a track that might call to mind the work of CiM. The rest of the assortment left me somewhat scratching my head as to who they were. I’d heard of JaX DaX from Magic Waves, the UK serving up a body pumped, new beat inspired, piece of 80s Belgium rave.

The remainder of the double LP outing left me flummoxed. Names like Th’idiot, with his(?) analogue noodling, Allert and their(?) textured braindance style or the dark atmospherics of Romans. And this is where the excitement lies, as it has with many of 030303’s releases. The unknown, the chance taken on an artist like Bodem or Gauvid. One of the highlights is the smoke strewn synthesizer laser show of “Sailor” by Forma. Okay, they aren’t novices, they’ve already had a couple of releases with Spectral Spools, but they are dishing up quality. Definitely influenced by Charanjit Singh the track is dreamlike, bending and bulging, melting and solidifying for some LSD psy-acid.

So what are you getting with this third compilation? You’re getting what 030303 have been doing since the doors opened, expanding the acid and braindance project. But this latest isn’t just founding-fathers and established talent, it’s the newcomers and fresh faces that are taking on the mantle. And it’s this willingness to seek out the unheard and unknown that makes this Utrecht label what it is.

Various III is available on 030303.

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