Charity Noises

Excellent small-run artisan boutique acid vinyl purveyors Balkan Vinyl have just released Music Sans Frontiers, a charity compilation of tracks from the likes of Posthuman, Hrdvision, Plaid and B12. Although they normally do vinyl releases, such as the Balkan Colors series, this is a digital-only release, to reduce costs and make sure as much money as possible goes to the charity.

All profits go to Doctors Without Borders, who are right now rushing supplies and personnel to the Philippines. I think this campaign is a coincidence, but their help is as vital as ever in the wake of this terrible storm.

BV also do special limited packs, like the awesome and long-since-sold-out Rave Wars and The Hardcore Strikes Back 7″‘s, which had a light side and a dark side, and came with a random genuine vintage (1977-85) Star Wars figure (none of this modern elbow-and-knee-joint business).

This compilation is pretty solid all the way through. There are some very nice slices of crunchy coated bass (the subtly de-tuned ‘Serpents’ by Jakeone), some crispy fried acid (‘Terminal 5’ by Affie Yusuf), with a side helping of light tangy melodic euro-thud (‘Air Spray’ by Nightwave) rounded up with a broad marshy landscape (‘Owl Creek’ by Brend).

There are a couple of tracks which definitely sound a bit sparse, like a few minutes twiddling the resonance knob. Not a bad thing in itself, to be sure. Minimal, efficient. Gets the job done. But they almost sound like outtakes dug out, quickly polished and submitted for release.

My personal favorite track is the friendly tree-lined drive of ‘Tact Switch’ by Echaskech.

Last year I wrote about an earlier Balkan Vinyl charity release, which included the wicked rave cut ‘Zombie 303’ by AGT Rave Cru (my “jam” for a week last December) and the relentless reverb of Ben Sims’ ‘Barrow Boy Acid’.

Good label. Nice action.

Mind you, if you don’t like this kind of music, by all means drop a couple of quid/bucks directly in the charity pot here. And if the reason you don’t like this music is the tortured metaphors I use to describe it, then by all means head to Both Bars On, where Bon does a much better job of describing electronic music than I do.