Boomkat Product Review:
Thanks to a number of exceptional collections on Finders Keepers and Twisted Nerve, Andy Votel has really made us re-think the whole concept of the compilation, using the medium to deliver a deluge of previously unknown material with carefully sourced and assembled packages of brilliant music. Much like a good mixtape, you find yourself coming back again and again, and more often than not the artists involved are totally new to us. 'A Kind of Awe and Reverence and Wonder' is the latest compilation from the label and is a perfect distillation of everything we've heard (and loved) from them recently. After a long period of silence, Twisted Nerve re-emerged a couple of years ago with a slew of totally killer 7"s and then to our surprise an album (from the shockingly good Voice of the Seven Woods) a few weeks ago. For some reason something's put a spring in Votel's step again and for the avid record buyer there could be nothing more exciting, as this twelve tracker suggests he's got something special under his belt. I must admit there are few artists here I've heard of, but there really isn't a dull track on board and it's going to get me Googling until my fingers are numb trying to find more about them. The compilation kicks off with a track from Graham Massey's much under appreciated Toolshed project and we're already on the right tracks - in a typically high fidelity fashion we're already on the nu-psychedelic tip with gigantic drum breaks and horns straight out of Eastern Europe. It sounds like some sort of Balkan party that none of us were invited to, and in its oddness there's plenty of dancefloor spirit - Selda fans take note. After this we're pushed straight into an exclusive cut from the really very good Voice of the Seven Woods which neatly shows off his impeccable guitar skills - technical but with enough genuine Northern soul to put fear in the hearts of many a Takoma copyist. Then we reach the album's highlight, we've long been singing the praises of Rochdale's Sam and the plants, but there's a reason why and it has never been better expressed than on 'Excerpt 12', a track so haphazardly brilliant we're left wondering exactly how it was assembled. Flipping between folk, abstract electronics, musique concrete, Children's songs, indie-pop and lord knows what else, this literally has us clawing at the walls for a full length - Twisted Nerve how can you do this to us? Elsewhere the lovely Magpahi keeps the classic folk alive with an almost acapella slice of loveliness in the form of 'To Sing With Joy From Out a Sorrowing Heart', and Speck Mountain finish the disc with the eight minute 'Chlorine Fields', a progged-out lounge-pop monster, something like pre-Tender Buttons Broadcast recorded direct to tape and then lost for years. An absolutely gorgeous collection and something which just about everyone should check out - it's just so damn good. ESSENTIAL PURCHASE!