Thursday, 20 February 2014

Music From Memory

There's been a plethora of boutique reissue labels over the past few years. It seems that everyday there's a new record being remembered on taste makers such as Boomkat. Press statements like 'A forgotten synth classic made by an obscure Greek composer and his wife's lover from 1981 pressed on hand stamped, 180g, rainbow coloured wax that's been remastered by sonic pixies' has become common language in record shops and the terribly hip. Amongst all this it takes something special for a label to stand out in this noise of heavy vinyl and revisionist memory. Nonetheless there has been a few that have risen above the crowd. What's important, it seems, is for a label to have just as much a sonic aesthetic and identity as if it were releasing new music. Minimal Wave has constantly being on point bringing attention to a selection of genuinely amazing 'wave' associated forgotten classics.  Das Kabinette, The Dadacomputer and their excellent Minimal Wave Tapes compilations have all been highlights worth checking out. A branch of Editions Mego called Recollections GRM have also been of the best with heavy curating on early electronic music from important, experimental musicians such as Bernard Parmegiani and Luc Ferrari. These labels have forged a unique idea of the music that they want to release and how they want to present it that has transferred semantically to the point where it wouldn't be silly to say a Minimal Wave-eque record or a GRM-esque record (although you should never actually say that to anyone in real life conversation).

The Dutch label Music From Memory have only released two records so far. Their first one was released in April of last year and the second at the arse end of 2013 or the start of 2014 depending on your chosen retailer. It might seem unfair to place this label in the same territory as the two previously mentioned greats as they haven't had a proper chance yet to showcase their consistency. However, if the two compilations they have released is anything to go by, expect big things in the future from them. They have already created for themselves an individual sound and aesthetic that has coherency, from the sounds to the presentation. The music seems both incredibly old and contemporary, especially when compared with the blossoming synth and bedroom pop music that have been ubiquitous over the last decade. Leon Lowman's Liquid Diamonds is a charming collection of surf and ocean inspired synth funk that seems to out chillwave (remember that?) artists like Washed Out and Ducktails. Their recent release by Gigi Mason entitled The Word Love is an amorous wash of heady ambiance and new age that would easily fit in with the discographies of people like Oneothrix Point Never and Pulse Emitter. While the noun bandwagon and the verb jumping could dismissively be used by a lazy commentator, this music and what this label is doing is genuinely adding something to the current scene by shining on a light on two forgotten artists and presenting them in a way that could only be described as cared for. I'm excited to see where this label goes next and if you're at all interested in this style of music, so should you.

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