Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The 8088 Record Collective's great Vol. III compilation is varied and exciting

February 15, 2010

8088 Record CollectiveI feel good when something dumb I do translates into something awesome anyway. In this case, my dumb move came in not being prompt with my review of The 8088 Record Collective‘s Compilation Vol. III, which I’ve had for a long time. I thought it was a DVD, because the two-disc set comes in a DVD case, and until recently I haven’t had time to sit down and watch a DVD. Then I found out that it’s not a DVD and felt dumb.

But! The fourth volume of the compilation is coming out Feb 20 (uh, yeah, that is later this week). So this review is more of a promo for 8088 Record Collective as a whole, and for their upcoming Vol. IV than the specific Vol. III compilation.

And I feel okay about this because the 8088 Record Collective is awesome. (seriously, if I didn’t feel okay about this, I would have put it in my ‘reviewed’ stash and tried to forget about it. but no! That’s not how I roll.) What is the oddly named 8088 Record Collective? It’s a group of artists from all around the nation who get together to pool resources for compilations (like this one, and Vol. IV, which comes out Feb. 20), book shows together, and exchange ideas. It started in Conway, AR, and spread from there, collecting hubs of artists in Austin, Texas; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and Brooklyn, New York. There are artists from other places as well (notable: Asleep, Audience…Dream! from my current digs of Oklahoma City, OK).

And because the collective is based on mutual idea-sharing and not on any particular genre, this compilation runs the gamut. The songs are arranged in alphabetical order by band, so as not to give preference to any particular artist. Even 8088 founders and experimental DJs Ginsu Wives fit 11th, between the goofy experimental pop of Clapperclaw and the boy/girl indie-pop of Harmute. The genres range from Chiaroscuro‘s technical metal to Betaplayer‘s rap to Androctopus‘s giddy indie-rock to Bad Credit No Credit‘s whacked-out kids’ music with adult lyrics. And that’s just on the first disc.

Surprisingly, though, the second disc settles into several themes. There’s a lot of dark indie rock, several instrumental post-rock bands, lots of electronic-influenced rock and indie, and several straight-up electronic/techno artists. If this sampler were only composed of disc two, it would be a strikingly solid indie/electro sampler. Mt. Comfort‘s “Put the Paw to Your Praying Person” is a beautiful ambient instrumental, while the last four tracks (by Somebody Else’s, the binary marketing show, Transmography and Two Eyes Meet Redux) all traffic in electronic-backed rock/indie. Again, it’s a solid disc, and one worth checking out in its entirety.

As I usually do with comps, here’s a list of bands from within that you should check out: The Octopus Project-esque Androctopus, the modern rock of Bridge Farmers, the technical metal of Chiaroscuro, the charming girl/boy pop of Harmute, the Of Montreal-esque Memphis Pencils, the gorgeous ambient work of Mt. Comfort (personal favorite discovery), Phalynx‘s techno, Proscenium‘s acoustic-led ambient post-rock, and the four electronic-backed indie rockers from the top of the last paragraph.

All this to say, The 8088 Record Collective is awesome, and Vol. III‘s double-CD bulk is great. I hope that their new one (which, if you haven’t heard, comes out Feb. 20 in a two-day release party in Austin, Texas, among other cities), is just as legit.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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