Various: Split Series 1-8
FatCat Records, 2000
This CD is a collection of eleven tracks from a series of eight 12" singles released by FatCat Records with no textual labels and no cover art. (Each one was marked by the number of holes punched into its sleeve.) This compilation, however, has cover art and a listing of tracks. The artists range from Gescom to Merzbow, and the tracks are linked only by a noisy aesthetic. Janek Schaefer’s “Foreground Blink” starts the collection, and it’s a good sample of what’s to follow. Vinyl pops and ticks accompany a beatless turntable collage. Next up are unrelenting, gritty attack tracks by Team Doyobi and V/Vm. If you’ve heard these artists before, you know what to expect. Foehn’s “Shrouded” is more subtle, with quiet ambience that would fit right in beside a Twine track. My favorite composition on this release by far is “Viral,” credited to Ad Vanz v Gescom. Gescom, of course, is the Autechre boys with perhaps a little help. (It’s all very mysterious.) On this track comfortingly retro beats weave in and out of each other, accompanied by a simple, intoxicating melody. This is the kind of cut that reminds me why I love electronic music. I can’t wait for the next sixteen installments of the Split Series, or the next two CD comps.