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Sulphur Compound | review | electro | compilation | Lollipop

Sulphur Compound

(Sulphur/Beggars Group)
by Lex Marburger

A beast of many stripes. For some reason, in this highly unseasonable and unfriendly climate, a new-ish record company has emerged to bring us the best in multiple genres and forms. So, a running commentary:

SFT, "Hole Entry": It seems I should know this guy, and why he is allowed a pointless 30 second intro. But I don't know him, so I ignore the mild ambience/gangster movie snippet.

Future Pilot AKA Vs Two Lone Swordsmen, "The Gates to Film City": Funky faux-soundtrack stuff, like James Brown meets The Exorcist. Or a thrilling crime porno, if such a thing exists.

Vertical Cat/Dan, "Sway": Oops, we've travelled into the land of chronic wanking. I could be wrong, but the guy seems to have set his sequencer on "infinite loop" and gone for a cup of tea. Too many sampled harps are not a good thing.

S.O.L.O., "Wells World": Photek meets Les Baxter. That is to say, jazzy, decidedly un-tweaked drum and bass (both reasonably acoustic) meets atmospheric lounge. There's enough edge for interest, and enough melody to draw my ears through.

Scannerfunk, "Cosy Veneer": Another name for Scanner, the found-sample electronicist. Ambient yet percussive, almost danceable. Builds as slowly as an Orb track, and just about as interesting. That's not a compliment, by the way.

SFT, "Slope": Ah, this guy again... Nope, still not getting it.

Scanner vs Spooky, "Guanxi": Acoustic guitar meets stoned turntables. Surprisingly, it works.

Toop/Noon, "Bass Instruction No. 4": Please note, all you whispering, spooky ambient/industrial artists: Throbbing Gristle did it first, and Psychic TV did it best. So cut it out.

Stephen Vitiello, "Forget What You Came For": An honestly intriguing ambient piece, and one that deserves the name. Little sounds tease the back of my brain, and I do not want to kill.

David Abir/Infant Reader, "Lesson One (excerpt)": Another studied, yet simplistic, ambient piece. Methinks Sulphur Records should have mixed up the beat-laden tracks with the ambient a little more. Or at least included a cup of coffee with the CD.

Ashley Wales, "Landscape (excerpt)": An amendment to the last sentence: They should've included a joint with the CD if they were gonna put this much ambience on it. BTW, this is one of the guys from Spring Heeled Jack, if you're keeping score at home.

Sukyaneer, "Dub Trementi Koto": Finally, a beat, albeit a slow one. But at this point, anything is welcome. And this is... sexy. And... Not creepy. And... Ends quickly enough not to bore.

Dstar, "Mirror Image": A turntablist takes on a dub rap, something that should've been on the first half of the album. This form needs to be explored more.

Future Pilot AKA vs Kim Fowley, "Night Flight to Memphis": Way to end the album... with a drunken Beck-ish poet mumbling & crooning off key over a lopsided harpsichord funk groove. Rather apropos, actually.

Some good, some bad. A label to watch.
(580 Broadway # 1004, NY NY 10012)

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