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Various Artists: æ20

Track List

>Slow Knife - Kuedo
>Kila - Herva
>Thunderclap [Dubplate Mix] - Remarc (remix)
>Dozin - DJ Diamond
>Oohh Shit - Anti-G
>Digi Dub - Ital Tek/Ital
>Phantom Prophet - Mr. Mitch
>Detroit - Ekoplekz
>Center Tech - Claude Speeed
>Azzoutof Control - RP Boo
>Nothing Stays Tha Same [Funk Bomb Remixx] - Traxman (remix)
>Vacuum I - Ital Tek
>Brazil [Maddslinky Remix] - FaltyDL (remix)
>Neonia - Boxcutter
>Meeting a Buddha - Venetian Snares
>Cherk - æ-Ziq
>Ankou Celeste - Jlin/Fawkes
>Shaded - Silk Road Assassins
>Near Me - Oriol Singhji
>Ol Skool, Le - Machinedrum
>Congress [Original Version] - John T. Gast
>Airmiles [Terror Danjah Carbon Footprint Remix] - Swindle (remix)
>1Up - Milanese
>Starchild - Luke Vibert
>Lushoto [æ-Ziq Remix] - John Wizards (remix)
>Strange Taste - Miracle
>Magog - Polysick
>Goin' Up - Gemmy
>Cute - Heterotic
>Awww Baby Yea - DJ Nate
>Firestar - Vex'd
>Astro Belter - Konx-om-Pax
>103 - Jega
>KickCut - Leafcutter John
>Beauty SQ
>Cloud Sculptor - Dykehouse
>Improper - æ-Ziq
>2Teq-10 - The Gasman
>Glass - Hrvåtski
>Greenwood Mating Ritual - Datach'i
>Pandora's Front Smash Hole [Planet Puke Edit] - Hellfish
>Chain 1 & End - Ed Lawes
>Butch [Speedy J Remix] - Slag Boom Van Loon (remix)
>Dirty Birds - Mark One
>Twee - Frost Jockey
>Contax - Remano Eszildn
>Circlette - Ambulance
>Coral Face - Mrs. Jynx
>Stelophane 101 - Tim Tetlow
>S950-003 - Shitmat

Album Notes

Mike Paradinas' trailblazing electronic label Planet Mu has typically used compilations to sum up the state of the label at the time, with 2001's Cosmic Forces of Mu and 2006's Sacred Symbols of Mu focusing heavily on breakcore and IDM, 2007's 10 Tons Heavy documenting the label's crucial contributions to the development of dubstep, and both Bangs & Works volumes introducing Chicago's exhilarating juke/footwork scene to the world. Following a few low-key promo label samplers, æ20 is Planet Mu's first large-scale compilation in a long time, summing up its entire 20-year history in one mammoth compendium. Paradinas scoured his archives for unreleased treasures, representing nearly every style of music the label has ever released. The first two discs primarily center around the label's 2010s lineup, including cuts from footwork producers such as Jlin and Traxman, as well as experimental techno artists such as Ekoplekz and John T. Gast. Venetian Snares, one of the label's most celebrated artists, is represented by a typically bracing, demonic eight-minute epic called "Meeting a Buddha." A few flashbacks to the label's mid-2000s era are also here, with a previously unreleased dubplate mix of jungle pioneer Remarc's brilliant "Thunderclap" and proto-dubstep tracks from Milanese and Vex'd. Italian producer Herva's intriguing track "Kila" is a squirming, slithering beast, with skipping beats and grimy distorted noises joined by a downright unsettling whispering/groaning voice. Other artists such as Konx-Om-Pax and Machinedrum combine throwback jungle breaks and rave synths while still sounding fresh and modern. The compilation's deluxe limited edition contains a book detailing the label's history, as well as an additional disc delving deeper into the label's '90s/2000s lineup, unearthing works by long-dormant names such as Datach'i and Tim Tetlow, and providing a treat for the label's longtime devotees. Glitches, breaks, and abstract sounds populate the disc, with Hrvåtski, Ed Lawes, and Leafcutter John representing the label's most experimental side, and Hellfish bringing the hardcore/gabber. A few twinkling, shining tunes come from the likes of Frost Jockey (one of Mike Paradinas' lesser-known alter egos) and Mrs. Jynx, and the Gasman turns in a surprisingly bright, danceable track. The album ends by bringing everything back to the old-school rave days with a 2 Unlimited-sampling track by plunderphonic breakcore genius Shitmat (Henry Collins), recorded a few years before he embarked on an ambitious project during which he remixed every U.K. number one pop hit, and subsequently retired his alias. æ20 is a massive undertaking, and it sums up the visionary label's extensive history as well as any fan could hope for. ~ Paul Simpson


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