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VA - Rough Trade Shops: Counter Culture 07 [2CD Set] (2008)

Electronic, Alternative, Rock, Indie, Folk, Pop | Author: artmuss | 19-06-2019, 13:06
VA - Rough Trade Shops: Counter Culture 07 [2CD Set] (2008)Artist: Various Artists
Title Of Album: Rough Trade Shops: Counter Culture 07
Year Of Release: 2008
Label (Catalog#): Counter Culture Records [CC07]
Genre: Alternative/Indie Pop/Rock, Folk Rock, Electro, Lo-Fi
Quality: FLAC (*tracks,cue,log)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 2:23:29
Full Size: 867 mb

For something invariably rated poorly Rough Trade's annual Counter Culture compilation is one of my most eagerly anticipated releases of the year.

This series of albums makes me sad for what might have been. Too ham-fisted and uncoordinated to pick up a guitar or tinkle the ivories, the best I could do was beat the hell out of a drum-kit and even that fizzled out after a couple of years when the band I was playing in suddenly woke up and realised how crap they were. So, before selling my soul into corporate purgatory, my dream was to work in an independent record store – not necessarily Rough Trade but I guess they were the model I held in my head. Which is why I look forward to every Counter Culture release and why I become more and more envious the further I sink into it. Just imagine working in an environment where new music comes through the door on a daily basis – and music you're unlikely to hear on even the most eclectic of radio channels. For certain the crap quotient would be high – witness Counter Culture 07 for confirmation of that – but just the anticipation of discovering an unknown gem would be more than worth the pain.

Very rarely does the compilation throw up something so enticing I'm tempted to check out the artist further, but I'm not sure that's the point. I recently watched a programme about a bunch of artists and sculptors who'd established individual studios in an old abandoned cotton mill. Different styles, different levels of quality and experience, different aspirations, but all in a shared creative space. Counter Culture 07 is the musical equivalent.

The exquisite voice of Meg Baird and her rendition of the traditional "Dear Companion" sits in close proximity to the crazed oddity that is Jennifer Gentle's "Take My Hand" which quite literally could be used as the wake-up call for the local sanatorium. The power pop of The Tranzmitors' "Everyone Wants To Lose Control" gamely tries to compete with the enormous beats of "Royal Gregory" by Holy Fuck (can't envisage them being invited to play the Royal Variety Performance!). The glorious harmonics lavished throughout Of Montreal's "Gronlandic Edit" rest alongside the wonderfully satirical rap "Thou Shalt Always Kill" by Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip (a name which just rolls off the tongue!). There are weird juxtapositions all over the album and it's those wild variations in genre and pace which make tracks that I'd normally be stuffing cotton wool in my ears to avoid sound brilliantly vibrant.

But there are still plenty of moments which make me realise the term music can be stretched to cover ridiculous extremes. "8.8" by Supersilent is nothing more than a series of random noises recorded over what could be a game of Pong, while Andrew Liles' "VTR" sounds like Woody Woodpecker bashing his beak against a pane of glass while some Oriental bloke jabbers away in the background. Whoever buys this stuff must be able to hear melody in falling masonry.

Counter Culture 07 is another excellent collection of the bizarre and slightly less bizarre compiled by the staff of Rough Trade Shops. I'm not sure there's anything new here for me but I'm already keenly awaiting the next volume so what more can you ask. And, yes, I'm still very envious.

:: TRACKLIST ::

Disc 1:
1) Be Still - Woods (4.06)
2) Dear Companion - Meg Baird (3.45)
3) The Pirate's Gospel - Alela Diane (2.55)
4) Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - Vampire Weekend (3.33)
5) Take My Hand - Jennifer Gentle (3.05)
6) Revival - Soulsavers (4.11)
7) Losin' Time - Wooden Shjips (4.20)
8) Good Girl (Edit) - Panda Bear (4.57)
9) Maybe Lately - Miracle Fortress (3.13)
10) The Ghost Of Old Bull Lee - Arthur And Yu (2.42)
11) Daddy's Gone - Glasvegas (4.10)
12) You'll Never Get That Guy - The Manhattan Love Suicides (2.53)
13) Mirrir Rim - Effi Briest (3.30)
14) Television - The Pirates (2.20)
15) I Want To Be In Husker Du - Let's Wrestle (2.44)
16) Systematic Death - Jeffrey Lewis (3.28)
17) Big Gold Dream - Fire Engines (3.42)
18) Come On Feet - Pete (2.38)
19) Royal Gregory - Holy Fuck (3.50)
20) Everyone Wants To Lose Control - The Tranzmitors (4.12)
21) Kevin (1989) - Battant (3.03)

Disc 2:
1) 8.8 - Supersilent (4.02)
2) Unitive Knowledge of the Godhead - Om (5.45)
3) Everybody's Down - No Age (2.22)
4) Atlas (Radio Edit) - Battles (4.10)
5) Jogging Song (He's Your Mr. Right) - Mika Miko (1.37)
6) Body Rot - Magik Markers (2.18)
7) VTR - Andrew Liles (4.46)
8) Police Story - Dirty Projectors (4.26)
9) Rights For Gays - John Maus (2.38)
10) Gronlandic Edit - of Montreal (3.26)
11) Thou Shalt Always Kill - Dan Le Sac (5.20)
12) Fledermaus Can't Get It - Von Sudenfed (3.58)
13) The Crystal Cat - Dan Deacon (3.51)
14) Facts About Tarzan - Estus Pirkle (0.20)
15) Tuinslangboogie (Faded) - Frank Hebly (4.35)
16) D.A.N.C.E. - Just-Ice (4.04)
17) Car Bomb - 180 Gs (1.26)
18) Soon To Forget Ya - Julian Cope (2.18)
19) My Pussy - Comanechi (3.51)
20) Year Of The Pig (Edit) - Fucked Up (4.39)

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