Various Artists


Some labels seem to reside at the apex of a movement, the point in time where there’s only a few people who know what’s going on, and a lot of those are working for that label. Sub Pop was one of them, and I’d wager history will show Asphodel to be another. Electronica is a genre where the species are as difficult to differentiate as Galapagos finches, but by building on a concept of intelligence and unconventionality in its artists, the label has come up with a roster that is as diverse as it is talented.

Cases in point: Tipsy. Sounds, sections, samples and inspiration for space age bachelor pad music are assembled and recombined into something that’s so retro, it’s the future. Mixmaster Mike can not only squeeze logarithms out of turntables, he can make them sound like Mozart. DJ Spooky may be on a major label now, but that doesn’t mean his unsettling compositions are ready for mass digestion. Asphodelic features tracks and remixes from all of these, and more. It’s a comprehensive introduction to not only the label, but the potential of the genre. Since a large portion of its contents comes from singles or is unavailable, it’s also good stuff for those familiar with the label or the movement. Either way, you can’t lose.

Asphodel, P.O. Box 51, Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113

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