January 30, 2012

Geoff Barrow, man. First, he creates Portishead, arguably the best band Britain has produced over the last 15 years (sorry Blur and Oasis fans). Then instead of buying ivory turntable needles from the king ransom’s raised off sold-out Portishead tours, he funnels his time and energy into that most dead-end of economic propositions: a label. This is when he’s not busy excoriating British radio and mediocre bands via Twitter. In the words of Waka Flocka: round of applause.

The label in question is Invada Records, who have received scant coverage in the States, ostensibly thanks to our American obsession with Lana Dull Rey. Tomorrow, be sure to read Passion of the Weiss’ trenchant review of Born to Die, as told from the vantage point of the trailer park where Lana Del Rey received her first visions of the Baby Jesus Jones. As for me, I’d rather marshal my meandering mind towards the tracks on this compilation — evidence that Barrow is dedicated to building the British equivalent of Stones Throw (though that might be One Handed Music).

According to the brief note pasted to the Soundcloud stream of the label’s Barrow-curated compilation, all 11 songs are or are about to be released. They include:

DROKK [music inspired by Mega City One]- the first tracks to be heard from this album written by Barrow and Ben Sailsbury.

Anika delivers cold hearted twisted version of Disco with ‘In The City’ [Chromatics cover]

BEAK – first tracks streamed of long awaited second album set for early 2012 release.

Thought Forms after supporting Portishead on their US tour use their relentless pedal worship to create another creep/gaze monster

The Fauns deliver a lo-fi fuzzed out shoegaze stonker.

Toronto’s DDMMYYYY provide a killer brain burster of a track as part of their BEAK split 12″/LP

Also the first digital single of very serious young Bristol band Scarlet & The Trainwreck whilst invada new bass/drums/vox trio The Veees drop a french/anglo punk funk number.

Quakers/Stones Throw producer Katalyst brings some new unheard 2012 hip-hop gems to roundoff the comp before the Mc’s start ripping them apart.

Amounted together, this comprises one of the most diffuse things you might hear in a minute. But Barrow suffers neither fools nor soft sounds. Though this anthology spans a deranged dial covering dub-laced Krautrock, Teutonic disco, and new wave boom-bap, everything is raw and weird. This is like the NPR station that plays in my mind.

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