Friday, December 15, 2017

Rapoon - Psi-Transient

Aquarellist: 2013

I first stumbled upon Rapoon way back in my initial ambient explorations, and have consistently seen his name crop up ever since. However, an impossibly high work-rate has left Robin Storey with an incredibly daunting discography, Lord Discogs listing over seventy albums to his name. Hell, there's over twenty listed since Psi-Transient dropped four years ago! And that's not to mention his pioneering work with seminal dark ambient act Zoviet France before he went solo. So a regular busy-body all said, one I probably wasn't ready to take a plunge with back when, but definitely ready for here-now. Only trouble is wear do I start? With a discography this extensive, I'll have to do some serious research, verify expert opinions, study scene influ- oh, never mind, I'll just buy this particular one I see on sale at Reverse Alignment's online shop.

Along with his Zoviet background, one of the things that made Rapoon stand out in the nu-Nineties ambient scene was his inclusion of ethnic and tribal sounds. This could be anything from drums, woodwinds, or chants, but always manipulated in such a way as to fit his looping, droning sound experiments. I honestly don't know how much of this has carried over to his recent output, as there's no possible way I'm taking in all of his music in such a short amount of time. I'd need a full day to just get through what's offered on Spotify alone, and there's not a person alive with that sort of attention span anymore. What I can tell you is if you're expecting some of that ethnic styling in Psi-Transient, you'll be left wanting.

Fortunately, I have such little knowledge of Rapoon's overall output, I come in with no preconceived biases. On the other hand, I've no clue where Psi-Transient exists within his oeuvre. Maybe nowhere specific, Mr. Storey striking me as the sort that follows wherever his muse takes him. If that means shovelling out music created for its own sake, then so be it.

For instance, opening track Shake Root prominently features distorted, thunking rhythms, and had me thinking I'd be in for some noisy, industrial-leaning sonic assaults; definitely not something I was expecting in the slightest. Then follow-up track Sentire goes mellow with gentle synth tones and looping, dubby drums pitter-pattering in the background. Ah, feeding off that old-school ambient techno vibe, then. Nah, scratch the 'techno' part of that, the next couple tracks strictly synth pad noodling. Then we're treated to some modern classical dalliances, More Halls And Afternoons Of Sun a gentle piano piece, In Voice We See mostly orchestral strings played in reverse.

From there, much of Psi-Transient flits between ambient drone and experimental modern classical pieces (ooh, trumpets in Smoke Glass Weed, like elephants trippin' on acid!). It's all very strangely captivating music, in a wall-papery sort of way. A fairly pleasant album, all said, though maybe not the best introduction to Rapoon's music. Which of his seventy albums are, though?

Gustaf Hildebrand - Primordial Resonance

Cyclic Law: 2005

Dark ambient set in the impossible emptiness of deep space? Love it! Droning emptiness painting a portrait of lost civilizations of times long past? Fascinating! Derelict husks of aquatic transportation? That's... oddly specific, isn't it? Yes, and I've come across a few instances of such cover art, all of which I'm strangely drawn to. I don't know what it is – maybe growing up in coastal climes? - but seeing abandoned boats rotting on dry land is some of the most captivating, harrowing imagery I've seen associated with this genre of music. How did these vessels get there? Was there once a large body of water that dried out due to over-usage or climate change, like Lake Chad and the Aral Sea? What of the folk that once lived on those shores and rode in these vessels, where have they gone? Was there a once prosperous people that thrived off these waters, only to be brought to ruin through their own nearsightedness? All these boats, once integral parts of a functioning society, little more than skeletal, moldy shells, soon reclaimed by the land surrounding them. Throw in a backdrop of two moons, well, you got my attention indeed, Mr. Hildebrand!

Gustaf made his debut on Cyclic Law with Starscape, the sort of dark space ambient I probably would have picked up from the guy if the boats of Primordial Resonance hadn't caught my attention first. Also, I don't know if there's a CD option left, as there wasn't with this particular album either, only discovered after purchase. Eh, it's been over a decade, so no fault on Cyclic Law's part there, but at least update your Bandcamp pages with such details, eh?

Primordial Resonance takes things down to more earthly realms (because boats!), dealing with ye' tragic tales of townships torn asunder from our mortal coils. Think that's a pretentious wording of phrase? One of the tracks on this album is called Ruins Of A Failed Utopia. It features Gregorian chants, among other things like desolate emptiness and abandoned, sickly, grinding machinery continuing to chug and churn long after their utility, usefulness, or reason for existence has any meaning or bearing. Makes me want to leap into this piece and spit some WD-40 into the poor contraptions.

So yeah, Primordial Resonance is the sort of dark ambient that's all about decay and desolation, though each track offers a little variety between them so it's not one long, constant depressing drone. Omega Continuum has distant wails as though the area's deceased still carry through the wind. Post Oblivion Fields adds wind chimes to foreboding menace, eventually retreating into empty caverns. The Hollow Structures... dear God, is this where the Cenobites hang out? And what's with the crying baby at the end? Wanderer Of Strange Spheres is more subdued in its drone, almost giving the listener a chance to reflect on the scenery they've just witnessed. Me, I'll be shivering in one of those derelict boats, thank you.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bluetech - Prima Materia

Waveform Records: 2003

Psy-dub producer. Regular on the regional festival circuit. Constant pop-up in Recommendation algorithms. Debut album on Waveform Records (kinda'), plus appearances on Interchill Records, Yellow Sunshine Explosion, and Platipus (among many others). For all intents, I should have jumped on a Bluetech album at some point these past fifteen years, but have only done the deed now. Even my old standby excuses of 'over-exposure' or 'genre apathy' don't apply, ol' Evan existing in that sweet lane of familiar-yet-underground producers I prefer cruising among. I can only plead a similar case as with Adham Shaikh, Bluetech a chap I've always intended to scope out proper-like, yet constantly putting off to the back, for a time when I've exhausted all other whims of artist, genres, and label explorations. In other words, I've run out of reasons not to pick up Prima Materia, in that it's the lone remaining album in Waveform's second Golden Period (2000-2005) that I've yet to nab (the Slowdeck LP's out-of-print, sadly).

Once again, the little ambient dub label that could broke another future star of the psychedelic downbeat scene in Bluetech, though that's technically not accurate. True, they gave him his first album deal, after which he'd release LPs through Aleph Zero Records, Somnia, and Interchill, but even this wasn't Evan's first release. That honour goes to Lead Into Gold, out four years prior on the old I doubt it got much attention, though Bluetech was quickly building himself a solid rep' at festivals for a unique, digitally-enhanced take on psy-dub. Less about endless loops of overdubbed samples, and more about technological manipulations as enjoyed by the IDM wonks of scenes not uttered among the aged crusties. A bold new step of psychedelic music-making, for a bold new generation of cyber-hippies, or something.

I won't front: every time I've thrown on Prima Materia, I'm initially put off by the extremely digital nature of Bluetech's sound, coming off quite plastic and thin compared to most psy-dub I hear (and having just listened to a double-LP with the Ultimae Mixdown™, oh dear...). I'll grant it was still new back in the early '00s, such production needing time to mature, but if you're an audiophile that demands old-school analogue richness, you may want to skip this.

As for myself, once my ears acclimatize to Bluetech's aesthetic, Prima Materia ain't too shabby at all. It usually takes three tracks for me to get there, but considering that particular cut is a remix (sorry, 'retriangulation') of the classic Triangle of Sounds From The Ground fame, can you blame a psy-dub brother for being wooed with recognition? As for the rest, all the familiar psy-dub attributes are here (groovy rhythms, ethnic vibes, quirky samples), and Evan's digital manipulations remain tasteful, never getting over-indulgent to the point of nonsense. There's even some sounds that remind me of Phutureprimitive's Sub Conscious, making me wonder if he and Bluetech were sharing plugins at the time. Nah, just a coincidence, I'm sure.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Various - Polarity (Mixed By Focal)

Ultimae Records: 2017

It was inevitable. Sure, Ultimae's been heading this direction for some time now, several releases sneaking it in with the usual downtempo offerings. Regardless of that fact though, it was bound to happen, as it happens to all long-lasting labels. No matter where you start – psy-trance, hardstyle, d'n'b, bossa nova, noise-glitch-wankstep – all paths eventually lead you to the two longest, dominating scenes of electronic music: house and techno. And now, the journey is complete, Arnaud Galoppe (Focal) given the green light from Aes Dana to provide his label with an honest-to-God, true-to-the-blue, right proper techno DJ mix, scene jumping into an untapped demographic unlike anywhere they've ventured before. Oh, and an ambient mix too, to placate the faithful, I guess.

Also new for Ultimae is the fact Polarity is their first foray into the double-disc DJ mix. Many of their past compilations had light blending between tracks, but nothing like the traditional mixing that goes on the Techno Side CD. Since much of the psy-chill they promoted had disparate rhythms and tempos anyway, doing a regular mix wouldn't be feasible. Here though, Mr. Galoppe gets to show the very important world of techno that Ultimae, too, can hang out with the Echopaces and Ostgut Tons of the globe. If they're paying attention at least.

Okay, that's not fair. The Ambient Side does bring the sort of sounds that- no, actually, even this doesn't have much to do with the Ultimae you know. Despite this label inching closer to the dub techno singularity, there's remained slight hints of psy-chill even in recent releases, but Focal says nuts to that. The only Ultimae name that shows up is Aes Dana (of course), every other artist appearing for the first time on this label. Not even current 'regulars' like Martin Nonstatic get a look in. Some of the Echospace chaps do though.

If anything, Ambient Side reminds me of a Silent Season collection rather than anything Ultimae's ever done. It's got copious amounts of flowing, droning, dubby layers of pads and field recordings, sprinkled with moody, melancholy melodies, but not too much as to get in the way of all those cavernous effects. Some tracks provide rhythms too – Valanx's Dance Of Death gets nu-jazzy, Mod21's Hunting The Black Eagle tribal, Resoe's Pressure Elements Detroity – but for the most part we're dealing with beatless music, rhythmic momentum generally supplied by dubby throbs reverberating into the distance. With that wonderfully full and rich Ultimae Mixdown™ in play, it reaches far indeed.

Which leads us to the Techno Side, where Focal takes us down a dub techno journey of, well, dub techno. Some of it gets minimalist (Area's Wanting, Beat Pharmacy's Tone), other times funky (Deadbeat's Entonación Chilena), elsewhere indulgent in effects (Beyond Air from CV313; aka: DeepChord), but there isn't much in the way of surprises either. Focal's set is generally as linear and flat as you'd expect of this genre, but boy does it sound nice on a good sound-system.

Scott Grooves - Pieces Of A Dream

Soma Quality Recordings: 1998

A deep house record is the last sort of sound I'd expect of an album with this sort of cover art, but Scott Grooves is from Detroit, so maybe Soma Quality figured sci-fi was justified. Still, what even is going on with this collage? Blue Earth, red pyramids, array of radio telescopes with a parade of elephants, flying ladybugs and butterflies. Pieces of a dream indeed, fragment of familiarity strewn about a nonsensical adventure in the land of Nod. But, oh man, once you realize you get into that lucid state of being, then the real fun begins. Here I come, Giza Pyramids Of Mars!

Patrick Scott got his start in the early '90s with Detroit-based Soiree Records International, releasing a smattering of EPs as Key Statements and DJ Scott. He soon adopted the name Scott Grooves, and signed with Soma Quality for a debut album, which did gang-busters for him. It seems, however, all that extra attention didn't suit his Detroit upbringing, and he went almost entirely independent after, self-releasing through his own, various prints (From The Studio Of Scott Grooves, Natural Midi). He remains active to this day, one of Detroit house's lasting fixtures along with Kenny Dixon Jr. and Mike Huckaby, though perhaps not as recognized as his Motor City peers. For a moment though, Mr. Grooves most definitely was, thanks to Pieces Of A Dream, and more specifically a singular track off the album. Let's talk about it now!

So Mothership Reconnection, a reworking of Parliament Funkadelic's tune of similar name. Clinton's here! Bootsy's here! Barrett's here! Worrell's here! Daft Punk is here! Okay, on the remix, but considering the French duo seldom did rubs of other people's music, you bet Soma Quality made it a huge selling point on the single. Their remix isn't on this album, of course, but don't let that dissuade you from checking out the original, over nine minutes of tight, funky action.

Getting to rework the P-Funk crew wasn't the least of Scott Groove's 'collaborations' either, rounding up several jazz musicians throughout. Opener Expansions features famed vibraphone player Roy Ayers plying his trade for a few extended solos, plus one Charles Green gets in a Rhodes solo at the end. Saxophonist Keith Kaminski struts his stuff in The Sax Speaks, and I'm thankful it's a solo that doesn't send needles through my ears (read The Verve Story reviews for more information). Bumpin On The Underground brings in Perry Hues for some smooth guitar action, and The Scat Groove has Gwen Fox doing that vintage “a-hey a'ya a'ya zim'da a'dem-dem a'daya” of jazzy lore.

Throughout it all, Scott Grooves lays down, well, solid house grooves, never letting his production overshadow his guest musicians. He's got a few, regular jams to himself for that (Pieces Of a Dream, New Day, Feels So Good), deep house with a touch of that futurist vibe Detroit is so well known for. Folks may come for the P-funk, but guaranteed they'll leave sated by the D-funk.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Out Of The Box - Out Of The Box

Werkstatt Recordings: 2013

So Werkstatt Recordings was unexpectedly generous in the swag they included with an order of mine. While not Ultimae levels of extras (no incense sticks), receiving various stickers from several releases is a nice touch – satisfies a collector's itch I didn't even know I had. The Greece label also threw in a couple bonus CDrs inside a single slipcase, one of which lacking cover art. In fact, all it has is “Out Of The Box Promo” scrawled in felt pen. “Cool,” thinks I, “Werkstatt's sending me sneak peaks of upcoming releases. How nice of them.” Nope, that's not it at all.

Turns out this already had an official release, four years ago. I mean, obviously so, if there's artwork available. It's the same seven tracks as found on Bandcamp, and there was even a proper limited run of CDs done too - probably, like, twelve copies though, as Werkstatt's really skint with physical mediums. Since Out Of The Box is clearly well past its 'promo' window, why did I receive this? Did Werkstatt have it lying about the office, and threw it in just because? Did they feel I'd get a kick out of the music within, but would never have stumbled upon it on my own? Are they planning a re-release with limited tape copies? All very good questions that honestly don't need an answer. 'Tis all just rather odd, y'know.

And who is this Out Of The Box that Werkstatt felt compelled to include with an overseas order? One Liam White, turns out, though Lord Discogs states this his only release under the moniker. He's released a half-dozen more items as Sick Robot, both with Werkstatt and self-released, most of which falls under the EBM, electro, and retro-trance side of things. Far as I can tell, Out Of The Box was his shot at breaking free of those constraints. Why, you could say Liam's forcing his way through an enclosed space into an open beyond.

First track Common Ground doesn't stretch too far from his comfort zone, though it's definitely a rougher shade of techno compared to his usual fare. Fire In The Sky says nuts to all that, and goes full neurofunk, making this the second Werkstatt release I've covered in a row that's tread into drum 'n bass' domain (the... odds!). That's followed upon by Lost And Found, a slow tech-house groover that erupts with flashy synths midway. And seemingly going out of his way to prove he's a genre-jack of all trades, fourth cut Matter Of Time gets in on that retro-trance action I mentioned earlier (doesn't sound quite “Eighties” enough to be space-synth).

The final run of tunes sticks to electro and tech-house vibes, but it's clear Out Of The Box is intended as a big ol' showcase of Mr. White's eclectic muse. A bit too eclectic, if I'm honest, the genre-jumping rather scattershot in make a lasting impression. As something different from the Werkstatt norm, however, 'tis not bad at all.

Neon Droid - Ordinary Neon

Werkstatt Recordings: 2015

This is such an '80s name, I'm surprised no one else had already snagged it up when that decade started its fashionable resurgence over fifteen years ago (!!). 'Neon' goes without saying, such flashy, functionalist lighting almost synonymous with an era of hyper-consumerism. As for 'droid', I remember the cartoon Droids from the '80s. In fact, I had an issue of the Marvel Star comic, where they did an obligatory crossover with Ewoks (Artoo saved everyone from a falling boulder with his legs, so don't tell me the Prequels made him over-powered with gimmicks). Of course, robots have existed as a concept for much longer, but it wasn't until Star Wars that they earned the additional handle of droids, carrying through the decade that followed. And one made of neon (somehow), well, the only way to make this more '80s sounding is in the font. Neon Droid didn't disappoint.

Since no one was using the nomme de plume, one Zoltan Gabor took it as his own a few years back. He also had a prior alias of Blasta, self-releasing a digital LP called Invasion Of The Cyborg Ninjas, featuring a cover that's about as '80s clip-art cheeze-mo' as you'd expect of such a title. Seems ol' Zoltan's refined his approach some for his Neon Droid output, though a couple tunes were reused from that effort into his debut album here.

If all this has you thinking Ordinary Neon is little more than a generic synthwave release, please, you should know I'm pickier than that. This is a genre flooded with bland homages, retro rehashes, and soggy songcraft, requiring more than obvious nods for me to bite. And the opening titular track at least does that, a slower, funkier jam with vocoder action that's the sort of tune everyone keeps hoping Daft Punk will make (let it go, it ain't happening). It's enough to get my attention at least, while follow-up Aurora works a groovy space-synth vibe with a strong synth-n-piano melody. The guitar action in Countach comes off too try-hard for my taste though.

Some decent synthwave tunes follow in Moon and Proveland (ooh, acid!), then Dominion introduces something I haven't heard much from this genre: the d'n'b 2-step break! I'm... actually surprised this rhythm is so rare – you'd think 'outrun' dudes would be all up in that hi-octane pace.

If that didn't throw me for a loop though, then Legacy Of Skye sure as Hell did, an honest-to-God prog-house track in synthwave's clothing. It's got the chuggy rhythm with building minor melodies, mid-song breakdown introducing an uplifting hook, then goes on an extended melodic tangent before bringing everything back for a proper finish. It's also nearly ten-minutes long, which is the correct length for a good prog-house tune of any era. Right, it's not a genre-defining example of prog-house, but to have a well-crafted slice of the stuff on an album like this, who'd have guessed? Makes the final run of standard synthwave cuts all the more fun.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Psychomanteum - Oneironaut

Cyclic Law: 2011

When browsing about for music, it's always the album art that sells me on it. Who's the artist or what's the genre generally comes in a close second, but now that I've started digging through dark ambient's coffers, those points are almost irrelevant. Yeah, there are many thematic variations throughout this scene, but the associated art won't go out of its way to trick you – if there's a post-apocalyptic city-scape or weird demonic creatures on the cover, you're gonna' hear stuff that paints such pictures in your headspace within. As I've got a major weakness for the Cosmic Fantastical, it's always the space themed albums that get my attention first, and you bet I couldn't resist one of fancy colourful nebula dancing in the forever black, serving as a hairpiece for a disembodied, statuesque head. I had no idea who Psychomanteum was, exactly what an 'oneironaut' is, or specifically what sort of dark ambient I'd be dealing with. There's something spacey going on though, so that's good enough for me.

Turns out I'd dealt with this duo after all, even name-dropped them a year ago now. A short-lived two-piece outfit, Psychomanteum was helmed by Robert Kozletski and Jakob Detelić, the former of which you might recall has a newer solo project called Apócrýphos. If you don't recall, eh, don't feel bad – I totally forgot about it myself. It's hard keeping track of all these dark ambient dudes and their main projects, side-projects, collaborative projects, and alternate dimension projects. If I end up with a copy of Shock Frontier's Mancuerda Confessions from Malignant Records, and somehow still forget it's another release from ol' Robert, I deserve a right smack upside the head.

As for Psychomanteum (that name's a lot harder to type than you'd think!), they made their debut with this Oneironaut, provided a few additional tracks to various compilations on Cyclic Law and Kalpamantra, then disbanded a mere year after, Mr. Kozletsky drawn to other interests, leaving poor Jacob behind (he has no other Discoggian credits). Seems a lot of dark ambient disciples lament this dissolution, many enthralled by the scant offerings they provided with their lone LP.

I can buy into that, Oneirnaut the sort of mellow, droning meditative style that suits the album's theme (dream walking and all that). Tracks flit between melancholy reflection and empty nothingness, at times calm and soothing, other times leaving you feeling naked and bare against yourself. Along with the subtle synth pads and moody drone, flutes, ritualistic chants, sparse rhythmic percussion, and dubby, unearthly echoes add to the overall canvas. A lot of stuff I've heard before, true, but Psychomanteum show wonderful skill in crafting their sonic journeys, more musical than most drone artists go without being overtly obvious about it.

It's dark ambient that's not about challenging you with macabre perversions or existential nihilism, but serving as a guide for your own lucid explorations. Indeed a shame this is all we got from them.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Oak Ridge Boys - Old Time Gospel Favorites

Curb Records: 1996

What, another one of these? This can't be good for the time-stream, me constantly plucked out of the year 2073 to review Oak Ridge Boys music in the year 2017. As I understands it, time flows like a river, ever moving with steady, forward momentum, events playing out more or less as the river's course intends. Disrupting that flow by time-travelling doesn't, by and largely, have much effect in The Big Picture. Me coming back here to write occasional blogger entries is no more eventful than tossing a pebble into an eddy. Even if my future-words had any significant impact upon your time, it's no more problematic than heaving a boulder into the stream. Enough to deviate the flow in a localized area, but the river carries on just the same. You'd have to initiate a truly calamitous situation to change the main course, like a flood or earthquake.

Still, toss enough pebbles in a short amount of time in a very specific spot, and little things can start seeming askew from the norm. The major events that lead to my time are still on track, but some of your sports stats are off. The Winnipeg Jets an NHL leader? The NBA's Eastern Conference having a better record than the West? For as long as I remember, that's not supposed happened! Ah well, so long as the Presidential Dog-Fucking Scandal still goes down...

Now, back to The Oak Ridge Boys, with their illionth gospel compilation. I mentioned the last one I reviewed was my first instance of repeat songs. Old Time Gospel Favorites is the second, and crushes Old Country Church in that statistic, including opening with the same song! Also here is When I Lay My Burdens Down, Farther Along, I Know Who Holds Tomorrow, and Lead Me To Calvary. That's half a tracklist I've already gone over, and the remaining songs aren't much different from their other country-leaning gospel ditties from the Nauty-Sixties. My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me does have a charming swing to it.

I'll grant some fairness to Curb Records, in that this came out in 1996, so beat those other labels to the market with their recycled songs. That's beside the point though, because my past self assured me I wouldn't be dealing with redundant repeats. Why'd I even get this?

It's the cover art, isn't it. Striking autumn colours, pastoral setting of a time long since lost. It draws you in, doesn't it, into a more innocent time, an existence where the worries of the world have no impart on the going-ons of the day-to-day concerns. Rise at dawn, tend to the farm, send the missus to the grocer for the dinner, ease back on the porch with a sated tummy full of stuffins. Congregate at the Sunday church to catch up with the neighbours, content in the knowledge there wasn't much of a care beyond those rolling hills of leafy trees. Truly, the bliss of ignorance.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Oak Ridge Boys - Old Country Church

Gusto Records: 2010

How's it hoppin', Past-Peoples? 2073 Sykonee back again. It's been a while, hasn't it? Not long enough, you say? Ah, what would I know about passages of time. Days, weeks, months... it makes no difference when you keep getting plucked from the future to review music of the distant past. I've no problem coming back to these chaotic times – life is all staid with the Atomic Brotherhood running things, dont'cha know. They keep the lights on, the condos warm, the beasts out, and the net neutral, but glory be, what a plethora of varied musicks you still get to enjoy! I forgot rock could still roll. Eh, the rest of Earth beyond? Pretty sure I've mentioned Red Belters before, and there's other enclaves the Atomic Brotherhood has built beyond Cascadia, for those who believe and all. We don't fuss ourselves with such details, and besides, isn't giving too much future information bad? Why, even letting y'all know that The Oak Ridge Boys remain one of the greatest acts to grace our membranes might be too much.

Well, it finally happened: we've come across repeat songs. I warned my past self it would sooner than he hoped. The Oak Ridge Boys and Quartet may have had dozens of gospel recordings throughout the Nauty-Fifties and Nauty-Sixties, but there are still tried and trusted favourites even in this specific niche of Americana Past. When I Lay My Burdens Down saw tons of compilation duty, including the last one I went over, Hymns & Songs II. The Love Of God also shows up again, and offers a brilliant compare-and-contrast. It's the same recording, for surely, but that Verus Records label took extra care remastering it, cleaning it of vinyl debris, enhancing stereo spacing, and giving the Boys a full range of audio dynamics. Gusto Records, on the other hand, just ripped it from the original record before splunging it onto this compact disc. There's little range, and is littered with vinyl crackles; not the retro warm kind either.

So it goes, Gusto Records purchased the rights to several Nashville labels in the Nauty-Seventies, which included many of The Oak Ridge Boys' prior records. This gave them a wide range of albums to pluck songs from here, even going so far as to include a whopping thirteen as opposed to the standard ten almost every other gospel compilation settled for. On the other hand, the sound quality between songs flies from decent to scratchy. Never unlistenable, but jumping from a 1958 recording to a 1966 one is super distracting when little's been done to clean them up. To say nothing of being spoiled by Verus now.

And then there's one extra song, lodged two-thirds in, that doesn't make a spittle of sense in Old Country Church. It's called Amen (Instrumental by Nashville Guitars), and sounds like a bad karaoke ditty, with cheap synth tones of guitar, strings, banjo, harmonica... How did this end up on a CD with Nauty-Sixties gospel music? Something's not right...

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Things I've Talked About

...txt 10 Records 16 Bit Lolita's 1963 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2 Play Records 2 Unlimited 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 20xx Update 2562 302 Acid 36 3six Recordings 4AD 6 x 6 Records 75 Ark 7L & Esoteric 808 State A Perfect Circle A Positive Life A-Wave A&M Records A&R Records Abasi Above and Beyond abstract Ace Tracks Playlists Ace Ventura acid acid house acid jazz acid techno acoustic Adam Freeland Adham Shaikh ADNY Adrian Younge adult contemporary Aegri Somnia Aes Dana Afrika Bambaataa Afro-house Afterhours Agoria Ajana Records Ajna AK1200 Akshan album Aldrin Alex Theory Alio Die Alphabet Zoo Alphaxone Altar Records Alter Ego alternative rock Alucidnation Ambelion ambient ambient dub ambient techno Ambient World Ambientium Ametsub Amon Tobin Amplexus Anabolic Frolic Andrea Parker Andrew Heath Androcell anecdotes Aniplex Anjunabeats Another Fine Day Antendex anthem house Anthony Rother Anti-Social Network Aphasia Records Aphex Twin Apócrýphos Apollo Apple Records April Records Aqua Aquarellist Aquascape Aquila Arcade Architects Of Existence arena rock Arista Armada Armin van Buuren Arpatle Arts & Crafts ASC Ashtech Asian Dub Foundation Astral Waves Astralwerks AstroPilot Asura Asylum Records ATCO Records Atlantic Atlantis atmospheric jungle Atomic Hooligan Atrium Carceri Attic Audion AuroraX Autistici Autumn Of Communion Aveparthe Avicii Axiom Axtone Records Aythar B.G. The Prince Of Rap Babygrande Balance Balanced Records Balearic ballad Banco de Gaia Bandulu battle-rap Beastie Boys Beat Buzz Records Beats & Pieces bebop Beck Bedouin Soundclash Beechwood Music Benny Benassi Berlin-School Beto Narme bhangra Bicep big beat Big Boi Big L Big Life Bill Hamel Bill Laswell BIlly Idol BineMusic BioMetal Biophon Records Biosphere BKS Black Hole Recordings black rebel motorcycle club Black Swan Sounds Blanco Y Negro Blasterjaxx Blend Blood Music Blow Up Blue Öyster Cult blues Bluescreen Bluetech BMG Boards Of Canada Bob Dylan Bob Marley Bobina Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Boney M Bong Load Records Booka Shade Botchit & Scarper Boxed Boys Noize Boysnoize Records braindance Brandt Brauer Frick breakcore breaks Brian Eno Brian Wilson Brick Records Brodinski broken beat Brooklyn Music Ltd Bryan Adams BT Buffalo Springfield Bulk Recordings Burial Burned CDs Bush Busta Rhymes Calibre calypso Canned Resistor Capitol Records Capsula Captured Digital Carbon Based Lifeforms Carl B Carl Craig Carol C Caroline Records Carpe Sonum Records CD-Maximum Ceephax Acid Crew Celestial Dragon Records Cell Celtic Cheb i Sabbah Cheeky Records chemical breaks Chihei Hatakeyama chill-out chiptune Chris Duckenfield Chris Fortier Chris Korda Chris Sheppard Christmas Christopher Lawrence Chromeo Chronos Chrysalis Ciaran Byrne cinematic soundscapes Circular Cirrus Cities Last Broadcast City Of Angels CJ Stone Claptone classic house classic rock classical Claude Young Clear Label Records Cleopatra Cloud 9 Club Cutz Cocoon Recordings Coldcut Coldplay Colette collagist Columbia Com.Pact Records comedy Compilation Comrie Smith Connect.Ohm conscious Control Music Cor Fijneman Cosmic Gate Cosmic Replicant Cosmos Studios Council Of Nine Counter Records country country rock Covert Operations Recordings Craig Padilla Crazy Horse Cream Creamfields Crockett's Theme Crosby Stills And Nash Crosstown Rebels crunk Cryo Chamber Cryobiosis Cube Guys Culture Beat Curb Records cut'n'paste Cyan Music Cyber Productions CyberOctave Cyclic Law Cyril Secq Czarface D-Bridge D-Fuse Dacru Records Daddy G Daft Punk Dag Rosenqvist Damian Lazarus Damon Albarn Dan The Automator Dance 2 Trance Dance Pool dancehall Daniel Heatcliff Daniel Wanrooy Dao Da Noize dark ambient dark psy darkside darkstep darkwave Darren McClure Databloem David Bickley David Guetta David Morley DDR Deadmau5 Death Row Records Decimal Deejay Goldfinger Deep Dish Deep Forest deep house Deeply Rooted House Deepwater Black Def Jam Recordings Del Tha Funkee Homosapien Delerium Deltron 3030 Depeche Mode Der Dritte Raum Derek Carr Detroit DFA DGC diametric. Dido Dieselboy Different DigiCube Dillinja dirty house Dirty South Dirty Vegas disco Disco Gecko disco house disco punk Discover (label) Disky Disques Dreyfus Distant System Distinct'ive Breaks Disturbance DJ 3000 DJ Brian DJ Craze DJ Dan DJ Dean DJ Gonzalo DJ Heather DJ John Kelley DJ Merlin DJ Mix DJ Moe Sticky DJ Observer DJ Premier DJ Q-Bert DJ Shadow DJ-Kicks Djen Ajakan Shean DJMag DMC DMC Records Doc Scott Dogon Dogwhistle Dopplereffekt Dossier downtempo dowtempo Dr. Atmo Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show Dragon Quest dream house DreamWorks Records Drexciya drill 'n' bass Dronarivm drone Dronny Darko drum 'n' bass drunken review dub Dub Pistols dub techno Dub Trees Dubfire dubstep DuMonde Dune Dusted Dynatron E-Mantra E-Z Rollers Eardream Music Earth Earth Nation Earthling Eastcoast EastWest Eat Static EBM Echodub Ed Rush & Optical Editions EG EDM World Weekly News Ektoplazm electro Electro House Electro Sun electro-funk electro-pop electroclash Electronic Dance Essentials Electrovoya Elektra Elektrolux em:t EMC update EMI Eminem Emmerichk Emperor Norton enCAPSULAte Engine Recordings Enigma Enmarta Epic epic trance Erik Vee Erol Alkan Escape Esoteric Reactive ethereal Etnoscope euro dance Eurythmics Eve Records Everlast Ewan Pearson experimental Eye Q Records F Communications Fabric Fade Records Faithless Fallen fanfic Fatboy Slim Fax +49-69/450464 Fear Factory Fedde Le Grand Fehrplay Feist Fektive Records Felix da Housecat Fennesz Ferry Corsten FFRR field recordings Filter filters Final Fantasy Firescope Five AM Fjäder Flashover Recordings Floating Points Flowers For Bodysnatchers Flowjob Fluke Flying Lotus folk footwork Force Intel Fountain Music Four Tet FPU Frank Bretschneider Frankie Bones Frankie Knuckles Fred Everything freestyle French house Front Line Assembly Fugees full-on Fun Factory funk future garage Future Sound Of London g-funk gabber Gabriel Le Mar Gaither Music Group Galaktlan Galati Gang Starr gangsta garage Gas Gasoline Alley Records Gee Street Geffen Records Gel-Sol Genesis Gerald Donald Get Physical Music ghetto Ghostface Killah glam Gliese 581C glitch Global Underground Globular goa trance God Body Disconnect Gorillaz gospel Gost goth Grammy Awards Grey Area grime Groove Armada Groove Corporation Grooverider grunge Guru Gustaf Hidlebrand Gusto Records GZA Haddaway Halgrath happy hardcore hard house hard rock hard trance hardcore Hardfloor hardstyle Harmless Harmonic 33 Harold Budd Harthouse Harthouse Mannheim Hawtin Hearts Of Space Hed Kandi Hell Hercules And Love Affair Hernán Cattáneo Hi-Bias Records Hic Sunt Leones Hiero Emperium Hieroglyphics High Contrast Higher Intelligence Agency hip-hop hip-house hipno Hooj Choons Hope Records horrorcore Hospital Records Hot Chip Hotflush Recordings house Huey Lewis & The News Human Blue Hybrid Hybrid Leisureland Hyperdub Hypertrophy hypnotic records I Awake I.F.O.R. I.R.S. Records Iboga Records Ice Cube Ice H2o Records ICE MC IDM illbient Imperial Dancefloor Imploded View In Charge In Trance We Trust Incoming Incubus indie rock Industrial Infected Mushroom Infinite Guitar influence records Infonet Inner Ocean Records Insane Clown Posse Inspectah Deck Instinct Ambient Instra-Mental Inter-Modo Interchill Records Internal International Deejays Gigolo Interscope Records Intimate Productions Intuition Recordings ISBA Music Entertainment Ishkur Island Records Italians Do It Better italo disco italo house Jack Moss Jafu Jam and Spoon Jam El Mar James Horner James Murray James Zabiela Jamie Jones Jamie Myerson Jamie Principle Javelin Ltd. Jay Haze Jay Tripwire Jaydee jazz jazz dance jazzstep Jean-Michel Jarre Jefferson Airplane Jerry Goldsmith Jesper Dahlbäck Jiri.Ceiver Jive Jive Electro Jliat Jlin Joel Mull Joey Beltram John '00' Fleming John Digweed John Graham John Kelly John O'Callaghan Johnny Cash Johnny Jewel Jonny L Jori Hulkkonen Jørn Stenzel Josh Wink Journeys By DJ™ LLC Joyful Noise Recordings Juan Atkins juke Jump Cut Jumpin' & Pumpin' jungle Junior Boy's Own Junkie XL Juno Reactor Jurassic 5 Kay Wilder KDJ Ken Ishii Kenji Kawai Kenny Glasgow Keoki Keosz Kerri Chandler Kevin Braheny Kevorkian Records Khooman Khruangbin Kid Koala Kiko Kinetic Records King Cannibal King Midas Sound King Tubby Kitaro Klang Elektronik Klaus Schulze KMFDM Koch Records Koichi Sugiyama Kolhoosi 13 Komakino Kompakt Kon Kan Kool Keith Kozo Kraftwelt Kraftwerk Krafty Kuts krautrock Krill.Minima Kris O'Neil Kriztal Kruder and Dorfmeister Krusseldorf KuckKuck Kurupt L.S.G. Lab 4 Ladytron Lafleche Lange Large Records Lars Leonhard Laserlight Digital LateNightTales Latin Laurent Garnier LCD Soundsystem Leama and Moor Lee 'Scratch' Perry Lee Norris Leftfield Legacy Leon Bolier LFO Linear Labs Lingua Lustra liquid funk Liquid Sound Design Liquid Stranger Liquid Zen Live live album LL Cool J Loco Dice Lodsb London acid crew London Classics London Elektricity London Records 90 Ltd London-Sire Records Loop Guru Loreena McKennitt Lorenzo Masotto Lorenzo Montanà Lost Language Loud Records Loverboy Luaka Bop Luciano Luke Slater Lustmord M_nus M.A.N.D.Y. M.I.K.E. Madonna Magda Mali Mammoth Records Marc Simz Marcel Dettmann Marco Carola Marco V Mark Farina Mark Norman Mark Pritchard Markus Schulz Marshmello Martin Cooper Martin Nonstatic Märtini Brös Marvin Gaye Maschine Massive Attack Masta Killa Matthew Dear Max Graham maximal Maxx MCA Records McProg Meanwhile Meat Loaf Meditronica Memex Menno de Jong Mercury Mesmobeat metal Method Man Metroplex Metropolis Miami Bass Miami Dub Machine Michael Brook Michael Jackson Michael Mayer Mick Chillage micro-house microfunk Microscopics MIG Miguel Migs Mike Saint-Jules Mike Shiver Miktek Mille Plateaux Millennium Records Mind Distortion System Mind Over MIDI mini-CDs minimal minimal tech-house Ministry Of Sound miscellaneous Misja Helsloot Miss Kittin Miss Moneypenny's Mixmag Mo Wax Mo-Do MO-DU Moby Model 500 modern classical Moist Music Moodymann Moonshine Moss Garden Motech Moving Shadow Mujaji Murmur Music link Music Man Records musique concrete Mutant Sound System Mute Muzik Magazine My Best Friend Mystica Tribe N-Trance Nacht Plank Nadia Ali Nas Nashville Nature Sounds Naughty By Nature Nebula Neil Young Neon Droid Neotropic nerdcore Nervous Records Nettwerk Neurobiotic Records New Age New Jack Swing new wave Nic Fanciulli Nick Höppner Night Time Stories Nimanty Nine Inch Nails Ninja Tune Nirvana No Mask Effect Nobuo Uematsu Nomad Nonesuch Nonplus Records Nookie Nordic Trax Norman Feller Northumbria Nothing Records NovaMute NRG Ntone nu-jazz nu-skool Nuclear Blast Entertainment Nulll Nurse With Wound NXP Octagen Offshoot Offshoot Records Ol' Dirty Bastard Olan Mill old school rave Ole Højer Hansen Olga Musik Olien Oliver Lieb Olsen Omni Trio Omnimotion Omnisonus One Little Indian Oophoi Oosh Open Canvas Opus III orchestral Original TranceCritic review Orla Wren Ornament Ostgut Ton Ott Ouragan Out Of The Box OutKast Outpost Records Overdream Paleowolf Pantera Pantha Du Prince Paolo Mojo Parlaphone Paul Moelands Paul Oakenfold Paul van Dyk Perfect Stranger Perfecto Perturbator Pet Shop Boys Petar Dundov Pete Namlook Pete Tong Peter Benisch Peter Gabriel Peter Tosh Phonothek Photek Phutureprimitive Phynn PIAS Recordings Pink Floyd PJ Harvey Planet Dog Planet Earth Recordings Planet Mu Planetary Consciousness Plastic City Plastikman Platipus Plump DJs PM Dawn Poker Flat Recordings politics Polydor Polytel pop Popular Records Porya Hatami post-dubstep Prince Prins Thomas Priority Records Profondita prog prog psy prog-psy Progression progressive breaks progressive house progressive rock progressive trance Prolifica Proper Records Prototype Recordings protoU Pryda psy chill psy dub Psy Spy Records psy trance psy-chill psychedelia Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia Psychomanteum Psychonavigation Psychonavigation Records Psycoholic Psykosonik Public Enemy punk punk rock Pureuphoria Records Purl Push PWL International Quadrophonia Quality Quango Quinlan Road R & S Records R'n'B R&B Rabbit In The Moon Radio Slave Radioactive Radioactive Man Radiohead Raekwon ragga Ralph Lawson RAM Records Randal Collier-Ford Random Review Rank 1 rant Rapoon RareNoise Records Rascalz Raster-Noton Ratatat Raum Records RCA React Red Jerry Refracted reggae remixes Renaissance Rephlex Reprise Records Resist Music Restless Records RetroSynther Reverse Alignment Rhino Records Rhys Fulber Ricardo Villalobos Riley Reinhold Rising High Records RnB Roadrunner Records Robert Hood Robert Miles Robert Oleysyck Roc Raida rock rock opera rockabilly rocktronica Roger Sanchez ROIR Rollo Rough Trade Rub-N-Tug Rumour Records Running Back Ruthless Records RZA S.E.T.I. Sabled Sun Salt Tank Salted Music Salvation Music Samim sampling Sanctuary Records Sander van Doorn Sandoz Sarah McLachlan Sash Sasha Scandinavian Records Scann-Tec sci-fi Scott Grooves Scott Hardkiss Scott Stubbs Scuba Seán Quinn Segue Sense Sentimony Records Sequential Seraphim Rytm Setrise Seven Davis Jr. Shaded Explorations Shaded Explorer Shadow Records Sharam Shawn Francis shoegaze Si Matthews SideOneDummy Records Signature Records SiJ Silent Season silly gimmicks Silver Age Simon Berry Simon Heath Simon Posford Simple Records Sinden single Sire Records Company Six Degrees Sixeleven Records ska Skin To Skin Slinky Music Sly and Robbie Smalltown Supersound SME Visual Works Inc. Snap Sneijder Snoop Dogg Solar Fields Solaris Recordings Solarstone Solieb Soliquid Solstice Music Europe Soma Quality Recordings Songbird Sony Music Entertainment soul Soul Temple Entertainment Souls Of Mischief Sound Of Ceres Soundgarden Sounds From The Ground soundtrack southern rap southern rock space ambient Space Dimension Controller Space Manoeuvres space synth Spank Rock Special D speed garage Speedy J Spicelab Spiritech spoken word Spotify Suggestions Spotted Peccary SPX Digital Squarepusher Squaresoft Stanton Warriors Star Trek Stardust Statrax Stay Up Forever Stephanie B Stephen Kroos Steve Angello Steve Lawler Steve Miller Band Steve Porter Stijn van Cauter Stone Temple Pilots Stonebridge Stormloop Stray Gators Street Fighter Stuart McLean Studio K7 Stylophonic Sub Focus Sublime Sublime Porte Netlabel Substance Sun Station Sunbeam Sunday Best Recordings Superstition surf rock Sven Väth Swayzak swing Switch Sylk 130 Symmetry Sync24 Synergy Synkro synth pop synthwave System 7 Tactic Records Tall Paul Tammy Wynette Tangerine Dream Tau Ceti Tayo tech-house tech-step tech-trance Technical Itch techno technobass Technoboy Tectonic Terminal Antwerp Terra Ferma Terry Lee Brown Jr Textere Oris The Beach Boys The Beatles The Black Dog The Brian Jonestown Massacre The Bug The Chemical Brothers The Clash The Council The Cranberries The Crystal Method The Digital Blonde The Dust Brothers The Glimmers The Green Kingdom The Grey Area The Hacker The Human League The Irresistible Force The KLF The Misted Muppet The Movement The Music Cartel The Null Corporation The Oak Ridge Boys The Offspring The Orb The Police The Prodigy The Shamen The Sharp Boys The Sonic Voyagers The Squires The Tea Party The Tragically Hip The Velvet Underground The Wailers The White Stripes themes Thievery Corporation Third Contact Thrive Records Tiefschwarz Tiësto Tiga Tiger & Woods Time Warp Timecode Tobias Todd Terje Tom Middleton Tomita Tommy Boy Ton T.B. Tone Depth Tony Anderson Sound Orchestra Tool Topaz Tosca Toto Touch Tourette Records trance Trancelucent Tranquillo Records Trans'Pact Transformers Transient Records trap Trax Records Trend Trentemøller Tresor tribal Tricky Triloka Records trip-hop Trishula Records Troum Tuff Gong Tunnel Records Turbo Recordings turntablism TUU TVT Records Twisted Records Type O Negative U-God U2 Überzone Ugasanie UK acid house UK Garage Ultimae Ultra Records Umbra Underworld Union Jack United Dairies United DJs Of America Universal Music UOVI Upstream Records Urban Icon Records V2 Vagrant Records Valiska Valley Of The Sun Vangelis Vap Vector Lovers Venetian Snares Venonza Records Vermont Vernon Verus Records Verve Records VGM Vice Records Victor Calderone Vince DiCola Vinyl Cafe Productions Virgin Virtual Vault Virus Recordings Visionquest Vitalic vocal trance Vortex Wagram Music Warp Records Warren G Water Music Dance Wave Recordings Waveform Records Wax Trax Records Way Out West WEA Weekly Mini-Review Werk Discs Werkstatt Recordings White Swan Records William Orbit Willie Nelson world beat world music writing reflections Wu-Tang Clan Wyatt Keusch XL Recordings Yello Yes Youth Youtube YoYo Records Yul Records Zenith ZerO One Zomby Zoo Entertainment ZTT Zyron ZYX Music µ-Ziq