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CD Feature/ V.A.: "WHITE LINE Vol. II"

img  Tobias

To be frank about this from the start: I am enamoured by the concept behind the “Whiteline” series. For a compilation to work, it must either be coherent enough to sound like the job of a single artist, diverse enough for it to shake you up like a frenzied alarm clock in the morning or so to-the-point that it provides the ultimate overview in a world which is becoming increasingly hard to fully understand. The good thing about this release: It is all of the above.

“Whiteline Vol. II” comes a full year after the first installment, documenting the care which has gone into the artist selection, composing and layout – as well as some printing plant problems in the final stages of the process. Due to the limitations of the 12’’ Vinyl format, only five acts have been invited, but the disc easily turns this into an advantage. Right from the first funk hollers of Bob Humid’s cool-drumming hommage “Notting Hill Bricks” (with the percussion paranoia going on here, he might well have titled it “Notting Hill Breaks”) to the convoluted alien-arrangements of Spanish electronica wizzard AZ-Rotator, with defeatist Ambient structures flowing underneath mind-boggling beats, the collection doesn’t have a single gram of excess fat on its slender body. Needless to say that all tracks are, of course, exclusive and can not be found anywhere else. Aentitainment regard their work as a “limited contribution to the positioning of good music” and by all means, that is exactly what it is: An extremely focussed statement, uniting artists which bear more than just a superficial similiarity in approach and yet need not necessairly be seen as belonging to the same school or tradition. Broken beats and the rhythmical imperative play an important part in all of these pieces and so does the transparent use of deep atmospheric textures, traces of harmony and amputated melodies, as well as a general openness towards other genres, such as jazz, metal, drones and even techno. But until this EP came along, it might well have been questioned, whether fans of The Outside Agency’s maniacal Gabba HardCore BassDrum thunderstorm would have seen the connection with the skeletised Dub structures of Noize Creator.

There is no question, however, that they have more in common than meets the superficial eye and this constant process of finding parallels or paradoxes makes “Whiteline” a valuable chain in the grand discussion on contemporary electronics indeed. The absence of mandatory creative rules need not leed to arbitrariness, after all, but can actually establish links where there used to be a vacuum. That, as it turns out, is another thing an efficient compilation can do.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Aentitainment Records

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