Various Artists: The Outer Church

Outer Church Compilation

The strength of any compilation is equal to the consistency of its content – this much is obvious and true. After the first few listens, too many albums sit in the ‘Various Artists’ folder and get little to no airplay. This is due mainly to that duff track; that track that is always looming and waiting to annoy your ears such that it colours your pleasure irrespective of how speedy your fast-forward finger is. Well, somewhat unsurprisingly the curatorial excellence of The Outer Church and Front & Follow have combined to produce an anthology that requires no readiness to press skip.  In fact, there are so many brilliant highlights here I feel duty bound to eulogise as many as possible.

Commencing this epic 28 track collection, Embla Quickbeam produces an incredible study in harmonics meeting a babbling sea. Some Truths (aka Bass Clef) gives an engaging lesson in bass and high end bleepology. BBO favourites, Pye Corner Audio builds the tension superbly with sweeping analogics, filters tweaked and a bass line on the verge of something famously Radiophonic. Black Mountain Transmitter are wonderfully crepuscular in their idiosyncratic musique concrète, whist The Wyrding Module present something even more creeping and shadowy.  Position Normal do bubbling flamenco oddness. Old Apparatus harness spooky strings, as VHS Head parades a grinning jittered funk cut-up. There’s skewed and spooked dub-techno from Broken Three and Graham Reznick’s treats the ears to some electro-stomp. Wrong Signals gently build the kosmische weird, Sone Institute time-travel to a time of booty-shaking electric boogaloo and Tidal’s ‘Scry Baby’ is the aural equivalent of luxuriously polished obsidian.

If forced to pick a standout track it would have to be Baron Mordant & Mr Maxted’s ‘Roehampton at Night’ – a throbbing masterpiece with glittering interjections that makes the experience of its title both apparently dreadful and strangely appealing.

As a guide to the current musical avant-garde this is as definitive as it gets. You really do need to hunt this down – here or here for example. Or get it at the album launch tour – details.

Pye Corner Audio ‘Black Mist’:

Hacker Farm ‘Bluebeam’:

Broken Three ’96D’:


About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on July 30, 2013, in Album reviews, Compilation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Nice. See what you mean about the ‘Who’s that?’ bassline

  2. Sounds really good, will hunt it down..

  1. Pingback: The Outer Church OUT NOW | Front & Follow

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