Boomkat Product Review:
It's been some time since the last compilation from the loveable chaps over at Morr Music in Berlin. Their last bumper collection was the classic double cd 'Blue Skied An' Clear' which in many ways served as a boot to the bum of the nu-gaze scene at the time. Featuring a plethora of artists covering classic Slowdive tracks, it set the scene for much of what would follow both on Morr Music and many other labels around the world. This time Morr has its sights set on New Zealand, and specifically their rich tradition of alternative rock music. It might not be as well known as it should be, but with bands like The Clean, The Bats, The Chills and The Tall Dwarfs (among many others), for the few in the know New Zealand was just as important to indie rock as Brooklyn is now. So Thomas Morr in his infinite wisdom has sought to exploit this area of interest and set his artists up with a task - to cover their favourite songs from the sprawling New Zealand scene. So we have classic Morr staples such as Isan, Guther, The Go Find, Lali Puna, B.Fleischmann, Tarwater and American Analogue Set next to newer additions to the roster It's A Musical, Benni Hemm Hemm, Seavault and Sin Fang Bous. As a picture of the label in 2009, the compilation is ineffably charming - the older artists gelling perfectly with the more recent signings. If ever there was a label with a 'house sound' it was Morr Music, and hearing the artists take this sound and apply it to the New Zealand scene is hugely enjoyable. Lali Puna's opening take on Jean Paul Sartre Experience's 'I Like Rain' reminds me just how much I've missed the band since 'Faking the Books'. With a clunky analogue backbone, the song's addictive jangle shines through, enhanced by Valerie's breathy vocals. Oddly enough my favourite moment comes however when we reach the second disc, and a contribution from New Zealand band Surf City. Now they might be second wave NZ scenesters, but with their cassette-recorded lo-fi charm it's not hard to get sucked into their world and the track is another reminder of how good last year's EP actually was. Another highlight comes from Morr Music oldschooler Populous, who contributes exclusive track 'Zodiac' - a drunken, drugged out hip hop instrumental that would give the wonky set a run for their money. Good stuff all round then and another seriously good fun compilation from the loveliest label in Berlin. Highly Recommended.