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various / touch - Touch. 30 Years and Counting
**Deluxe CD with exclusives from Fennesz, Vainio, Jeck, Eleh, Chris Watson and so much more** Part of Touch's extended 30th anniversary celebrations, this compilation, with a cover photograph depicting Colossus, the first computer - serves first and foremost as a survey of the extraordinary breadth of the imprint's roster. Touch bosses Mike Harding and Jon Wozencroft consider the release to be a "group show" and a piece "documentary realism" as opposed to a compilation, one which provides a glimpse into the current practice of each contributing artist. And what artists: among them Fennesz, Bruce Gilbert, Oren Ambarchi, ELEH, BJ Nilsen, CM von Hausswolff, Mika Vainio, Jana Winderen, Philip Jeck, Z'EV, Hildur Gudnadottir and Biosphere. The affinities between these disparate talents are here made gloriously explicit; it's quite remarkable, and testament to the editorial acumen of Wozencroft and Harding, that the album - split into four long sections - feels so sonically coherent, and makes such narrative sense. It would be unwise, both aesthetically and practically, to pick "highlights" - for this is, in the end, a work designed to be enjoyed and mused upon as a whole, and in the end it functions as a celebration not only of each contributor's solo work, but of the collective, vital, ever-influential and seemingly future-proof entity that is Touch.