Make Mine Music is, on the surface, a record
label. If you dig a little bit on their website,
you will discover that they are actually more of a collective.
I suppose that these various musicians were sick of dealing
with corporate BS, so they took control of their own careers.
It's so Indie Rock it hurts....
There are 8 artists on this compilation, all of whom are associated with the label/collective. They get two tracks each, with 2 exceptions. I will examine them briefly, so that you have an idea of what you are getting into. The only fair way to do this is in alphabetical order, although the actual CD does a good job of interspersing the tracks to maximize both the variety and, well, flow between the songs.
Avrocar are the label's noisy electronic band. The first of their two tracks, Cinematography is built out of dark thudding beats and male voice, so it kind of reminds me of Front 242 or one of those similar bands. Avrocar's other track, Served in Silence is a creepy instrumental of dark, washed out ambience that kind of reminds me of the Main side of the Fennesz-Main split record from 2002.
Epic 45 are a sort of Hood
influenced band. Think chiming guitars, quirky vocals, and mellow
drumming. They turn in two tunes, the nice instrumental Train
to the Sea and the vocaled rocker I'm Getting Too Young
for This. The latter tune stands out due to exceptional
I really looked forward to the two Innerise tracks on this comp, as i have
really enjoyed Innerise's remix work. The first track, Like
Sunrise is, well, kind of generic trip-hop. It's not bad,
but it's nothing that Lamb, Morcheeba, Massive Attack, or a
dozen other bands haven't done before. The second track, Mermaid
Cafe is a nice instrumental built out of keyboard drone
and "clanging on wood" world-beat percussion samples. The percussion
makes it seem like a slowed-down Young
American Primitive track, which is a very good thing in
my book. I really like this song.
July Skies appear to be a pop band, but i must admit to knowing
very little about them. However, The Days We Played is
an utterly beautiful pop song built out of slow layers of guitar
and fragile voice. Their second track, Royal Observer Corps
Amongst the Norfolk Dunes is a Boards
of Canada-style keyboard drone. Pleasant enough.
Portal offer an alternate take of the masterful The Sun
Will Rise (off of the Promise
album), which slows the music down and adds a bit more keyboard.
Also here is the rare track Arion 2, which was also on
the latest Mass Transfer compilation. This is a really nice
instrumental from the band, that sounds very much like the instrumentals
in the middle of their Promise
Shengen have been reviewed here before.
They are an electronic act from the "lots of keyboards" school
of thinking. The first of their two tracks, City, features
a looped sample of some girl reciting homework (or so it sounds)
over an amazingly catchy little keyboard riff. Really nice.
Their second track, Just Lately, is psychedelic ambience
a la the stuff F.S.O.L. used to do in the mid-'90s.
Yellow6 actually has three tracks on the compilation, 2 as
a solo artist and one as Nothern Lakes, which is a collaboration
with someone known as Pascal, from something known as Millimetrik.
It is this Northern Lakes tune, called The End of Resolute,
that interests me most. It adds real drumming to Yellow6's excellent
guitar ambience, resulting in a classic post-rock tune, reminiscent
of early Mogwai, or Do
Make Say Think's And
Yet and Yet album. Very nice. The other two Yellow6
tunes are pretty typical. August 26 is a fragment of
wandering guitar ambience, while Quarantine adds a simple
drum machine beat. Both are good, but neither is spectacular.
Weyland is the only band that gets just one song, and that is a very short one at that. It's called Gosh Said Jane and consists of a recording of British people talking about the death of Elvis over a looped pedal steel guitar. Nice enough, but given my pedal steel phobia, if it went on for longer than the 1:32 it currently has, i would most likely go insane and kill someone. So, for the sake of society, it is good that this song is so short.
Well there you go. From the MMM artists that i am most familiar
with, that is to say, Portal and Yellow6, there are no surprises.
Both turn in very typical tunes that are rather nice. I guess
that is the purpose of a "label compilation", and as such i
think that Flow fulfills its purpose rather well.
It's eclectic and consists of many interesting tunes. It's also
a great introduction to the fine bands on this exciting label/collective.
And listening to this, i realize i have much to look forward to, in the form of future Make Mine Music releases by this fine stable of artists.