But Solid

But Solid

Various Artists

See-Through

Your mom was right. First impressions are important. And boy, does this packaging make an impression. The compilation is actually one CD, but it comes as two cardboxes. The first contains the CD, and windows cut into the face of the box to show the thick metal plate behind. It looks very handmade, but carefully so. The second box contains a series of 18 cards, each with the name of one of the artists, and the track details. On the flip side of the cards is a beautiful bit of artwork. After a bit of playing, I found out the when arranged correctly, these cards form a massive reproduction of a gorgeous painting.

But the music! The music is as understated as the packaging is ornate. This is a compilation of what’s commonly called dream-pop, and sometimes called lowercase pop. Since the label is named after a Low song, spaciousness is the defining characteristic on this CD. The gentle optimism of Best Boy Electric’s “G•ricault” contrasts with Flare’s dark and somber “Course.” Aerogramme contributes a tender acoustic ballad with “The Letter to the Sea,” and Paloma’s “The Lawnmower Operator’s Happyness (sic)” just makes me smile. I’m not familiar with many of the artists here, but their relative obscurity doesn’t imply a lower standard. On the contrary, this compilation maintains an extraordinary level of quality throughout.

See-Through Records, c/o Iker Spozio, Via Matteotti, Musadino, 21010 Portovaltravagalia (va), Italy, http://www.see-through-records.com

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