November 26, 2014

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Chris Daly is a Scorpio

In the scheme of musical career longevity, five years hardly amounts to half of a blip on the radar.  Most bands are lucky to get two, maybe three albums out in that time frame, and labels are lucky to even exist half that long.  Seemingly every other cat with a nice bedroom studio set-up and belief that s/he has a good ear for music has launched their own “label” to varying degrees of success.  All of this makes Friends of Friends’ five year anniversary comp, 5oFoF, all the more impressive.  The two disc set spans the label’s classics, B-sides, rarities, remixes and brand new tracks that point towards a continued bright future from the label.

Disc one focuses on “the singles,” and it’s a who’s who of the more out there beat producers in the game today.  Let’s be honest, that’s one of the things that’s made FoF such an enviable label.  Instead of signing artists that simply mimicked the latest trend, FoF consistently has found talent that stretches the boundaries of whatever genre of music you’re most comfortable labeling this beautiful noise.  This one includes everyone from Shlomo to Jerome LOL, Groundislava to Mexicans with Guns, Daedalus to Robot Koch.  Seriously, it’s an embarrassment of riches.  If you’ve been to Low End Theory or your local equivalent, odds are you’ve either heard or possibly memorized most of what’s here.  Disc two has all the other stuff.  You’ve got hidden gems in the form of remixes by the likes of Star Slinger and Ryan Hemsworth and new jams from Braille and Different Sleep.  There’s a hint of what’s to come combined with new takes on old favorites.

Is it possible or even necessary to pick favorites from the 36-track opus?  Opener “Bizarre” by Perera Elsewhere is spookily perfect, a beat tinged dive bar dirge.  Shlohmo’s “Places,”  with its drugged out groove, remains his best track to date, IMHO, and that’s here, too.  Tomas Barfod’s “November Skies” featuring Nina Kinert is an uplifting joint that proves beat music does not belong solely to dimly lit clubs with huge speakers and tracts of land.  Salva’s “Obsession” with. B. Bravo plays fast and loose with the talk-box, and as an avowed Zapp fan, I do love me some talk-box.  Nicolas Jaar’s take on Shlohmo’s “Rained the Whole Time” takes the track in a whole new direction.  I could probably wax rhapsodic about every track here, but the aforementioned jawns should, if nothing else, prove just how far and wide this comp reaches.

Happy Birthday, Friends of Friends.  Can’t wait to hear what you’ll have for your tenth.

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