Various Artists – C.U.E. Compilation 3

review_va_cc3

CD, C.U.E. Records, 2005
www.cavestudio.org/cue

Welcome to a multicultural experience. Strange, random, interesting, and above all, educational. This is the new release from Cave Studios, which is run by Sunao Inami, who has released many CD’s from this label, including the wonderful “Delayed”.
This compilation is basically an introduction to the noise/electronica/glitch style of music that is presently coming out of Japan – a country which is mostly overlooked for its musical input in such a genre. There are also token tracks from well known artists such as Scanner and Morgan Fisher, which will certainly peak fans interest but seem to be filler tracks as these are available on other compilations. The Scanner track most notably coming from the “Europa” album that the European Union was giving away free early in 2005, in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

This compilation doesn’t stick with one particular style and it’s quite a collection of tracks ranging from near power electronics from Carre, a two man project that was formed in 2003 and have since been featured on many compilations and have released four albums of their own, to rather nice and melodic electronica from Funaman, whom I’m sure I would know more about if I read Japanese! Bit of a problem with finding out information on Japanese artists when you can’t understand their websites. This release takes some time getting in to and is not as instant to me as some of Sunao Inami’s solo projects, but respect to him for giving Japanese artists a chance of getting their music heard.

Recommended tracks for me personally would be “Forest” by Kissa Big Yoda, due to the taiko drumming involved in the track – not enough electronic music is beat driven so it’s good to hear it used, and “BBQ-revision” by Huguet (yes, that really is the title!) as there is a certain quirkiness to the track that just instantly appealed to me. Not only does it have a strange title, it also sounds amusing! Also, “Old Fat Jellyfish” has a strange vibe and ‘funky’ bassline that makes you want to dance to it.

A recommended release for anyone interested in the Japanese electronica scene, and a fantastic introduction to show just what is out there. Good stuff.

[6/10]

– Kate Turgoose

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