Review

Richard di Santo, Incursion Music Review, 19 mars 2002

Perhaps it was inevitable that David Turgeon’s mp3 label No Type would make the transition to releasing CDs. After more than 3 years of mp3 publishing (the site was launched late 1998), they present their first compilation 2CD set. The Freest of Radicals presents 36 tracks featuring just as many artists. It features contributions by Le Chien Borgne, themoonstealingproject, Napalm Jazz, V.V., Sluts On Tape, Kalx, n.kra and a host of others, all of whom have been participants on No Type’s online programme at some point or another. With so many contributions, I couldn’t possibly do justice to each one, and the styles certainly vary. From the microsound of Tomas Jirku and Claudia Bonarelli to the abstract digital sculpting of speech.fake, or the post rock sensibilities of Kanovanik and Idmonster, the hyperbeats of Books On Tape, the chaotic distortions of martindx, the IDM-inspired rhythms of Headphone Science… there’s certainly no end to the breadth of styles contained in this release. The challenging and more abstract moments are matched by tracks with more prominent and sometimes even conventional rhythms, beats and even a few melodies thrown if for good measure. Surely, there’s a lot to digest here, almost too much for one release. Almost. Taken as a whole, the compilation sits a little heavily and uneasily with me; with so much to take in, and being thrown in so many different stylistic directions, it lacks some of the focus I would have liked to have seen in such a lengthy compilation. And yet I also have to admit that a number of strong contributions seems to make up for it. Perhaps The Freest of Radicals is better regarded as a “who’s who” of new, not-so-new and/or emerging talents from the No Type roster; a quick thumbnail guide to discovering some new and adventurous music.

… a quick thumbnail guide to discovering some new and adventurous music.

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