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n5md   2001
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"md1" review

album rating: 2

submitted by anton on 7-Jun-2001

seems like n5md is further defining its profile as a label. on this compilation it emphasizes minimalism and fascination with technical details. the former is not extravagant minimalism of glitch artists, but refined precision that does not need extra details to deliver the essence of music. as for technical finesse, the names like funckarama, spark, l'usine, quench, proem speak for themselves.

this second mini-disk compilation from the label serves both main purposes of a sampler - deliver new and unreleased tracks from the big names in the genre as well as presenting a few very promising new artists. it is interesting to note that o2, being a somewhat of a label founder, is not present on the disk.

as I said above, this disk leaves a lot more "solid" feel, all of the compositions work roughly along the same lines of intricate yet very elegant and melodic idm. I cannot resist the temptation to place the sampler's sound between roughness of dub and sweet melodies of toytronic.

after the very first listen I was ready to say that this "md2" is a very strong successor to "md1." each track on this disk easily enters top three compositions I have heard from each artist. take l'usine's "don't interfere" that combines crunchiness of "l'usine" album with amazing analog fuzziness and atonal beauty. it reminds me of their another incredible track on raginakudo part 2 compilation from eat this that came out a little earlier. speaking of these highly recommended "raginakudo" compilation series, funckarama's "nn" comes straight from part one and does not disappoint. as usual with some of the funckarama material, it starts really slowly with disjointed minimal beats, random clicks and hisses and gradually evolves to very fragile and gorgeous track with delicate string line and touches of sparse keys, framed in multilayered trademark funckarama percussion. similar style is displayed by funckarama's dub labelmate, quench - a small melody pushing through the layers of heavy, abrasive percussion, stuttering hisses, random clicks and loops.

vcam (who's album is scheduled to be released on n5md) is quite a fascinating experience with tough rolling percussion waves and little miniscule noises on top of deep atonal sounds. it is both tough and laid-back, playful and melancholic, leaving a very refined and detached feeling.

opening "oepsch" by cenik is a good introduction to the sound of the compilation - built by heavy simple percussion backed by chaotic collapsing noises and gentle keys - deceivingly simple and very melodic. jvox, recently signed to unit, creates one of the simplest and most beautiful compositions on this compilation, that reminds me of acoustic sound of sybarite or even l'usine. the substance of the track is close to the glitch artists, but the feeling it creates is warm, fragile and melancholic.

following "jethon" by eaven is yet another pleasant discovery - the track is filled with heavy saturated bass and a very interesting percussion developments. it has a distinct "dense" sound that balances glittering keys and darker, more profound percussion. proem with "laid back off" is easily one of the darkest tracks here. it is more minimal than material on "burn plate no. 1," but yet retains its heaviness, that is not that obvious on "negativ". the strongest point of this track is trademark heavy stuttering, chaotic, unpredictable percussion contrasted by sad, tweaked string.

spark presents yet another one of his sides with playful and fluid "array." after listening to his material for some time, I am still wondering why he has not been signed yet. following "epilogue" by endorphins comes the closest to the melodic beauty of toytronic releases - one of the catchiest tracks on the sampler. somewhat similar atmosphere is created by tim koch (aka thug) with a beautiful analog melody and videogame sounds of "poly800vs 6581."

if you somehow missed "md1," "md2" should definitely attract your attention, and do not let the minidisk-only format scare you. after all, this presents a label as more professional entity, targeting people that really care about this style of music. and definitely keep your eyes open for upcoming proem and vcam releases from "n5md."

while it takes some labels just one compilation before starting to release individual artists, n5md announces its style and taste with two minidisk releases, and in my opinion the second one was quite necessary, further defining the label's style.

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