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toytronic   2000
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album rating: 3

submitted by anton on 15-Jan-2001
this toytronic compilation was the first material I heard from this label. the feeling that I experienced from the very first moments could only be described as astonishment. I could not even believe that there would be so many talented bands gathered on one compilation from a relatively small label (or at least the label that I have not heard of before).

this compilation was released both in analog and digital forms - a picture vinyl and a cd. cd has more tracks, while vinyl has a few different ones, so ideally you would get both. a few familiar names like that of arovane and quench stand out among many newcomers.

majority of this compilation moves along the lines of warm gentle idm with broken percussion rhythms and soft analog melodies. arovane's atonal ambient is contrasted by mysterious flowing melodies of num num. gimmik is as impressive as usual with its flowing rich textures. abfahrt hinwil is noticeably darker and closer to electro, dude (I do have to say the name is a bit bothersome) delivered an incredible track that rises to symphonic crescendos, backed by sliding, shifting analog lines and firm percussion passages. dense melodic textures of russians(?) novel23 once again hits a little closer to electro genre. there are way too many other musicians to mention as well as too many styles (from digital wizardry to floating ambient, from playful melodies to deeper emotional tracks) on this compilation.

one of the things I have discovered while listening to more and more idm, is that it is really hard to properly portray differences between the bands. with genres like dark electro, it seems to hit you right away and almost every band strives to deliver something completely unique . with idm musicians have to work with stricter boundaries, both sound-wise and emotion-wise. I am not sure whether it is due to the traditions within the genre, or simply lack of knowledge about other genres. it is possible that experimentation is not what they are striving for, instead being perfectly happy creating the music with the media they are familiar with. they seem to strive for perfection instead of shock value or radical experimentation.

majority of material on this compilation is following standard idm mechanics, mixing intricate percussion layers, dislocated small beats, atonal analog sounds and warm glowing strings. each track has plenty of subtle elements that distinguish it from the others - ranging from slightly different emotional and melodic touch, to the way the percussion is arranged or the whole track is composed. the difference however is very subtle and without getting into too much of dry mechanical details it is hard to properly describe a compilation like this.

all I can do is recommend it to anyone looking for a good idm compilation. after hearing all toytronic releases up to date I can only applause to excellent taste of this label and hope that it will be as selective and demanding to its artists as it is now, even if we will have to put up with fewer releases over time.

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