2020 Artoffact Records
Do you like listening to compilations? From time to time I like to do such a reconnaissance. The advantage of listening to compilations is that you can often find an amazing group or project. Sometimes the composition of the tracks is so good that the album starts to live its own life and it hosts dozens or hundreds of times in our player. Not long ago, on December 25, during the holiday season, a compilation of artists associated with the Artoffact Records label was released. The album effectively sums up 2020, which was extremely difficult for the music industry. At the same time, despite the pandemic crisis, the Canadian label Artoffact Records managed to release many really great albums. The compilation is available for free download on the label's official website. So it's worth getting to know this album.
The album is very interesting to listen to. These are all new songs and I have an overwhelming impression that only the most interesting hits were selected for the compilation. We can find here a lot of ear-pleasing songs by bands that I would not have paid attention to before, because they are genres that I do not listen to on a daily basis. Nevertheless, in the company of other performers, they sound interesting. There is a lot of post punk, cold wave but also some electronic and electro industrial. In addition, there are some softer tracks in the climate of synth pop or avant pop, but there are also some tracks with a stronger metal hit.
The album is started by the Russian band Ploho, which comes from Novosibirsk. There is something monumental about the combination of cold wave and vocals sung in Russian. The bands from USA or Canada like Bootblacks, Actors, Spectres, Ötzi also play in a similar atmosphere. The compilation also included the Lithuanian band Solo Ansamblis, whose album "OLOS" released in 2020 by Artoffact Records I liked very much. If you like Bauhaus, Tuxedomoon, or even bands such as Killing Joke, you will surely find something for yourself.
Several groups present electro and post-industrial climates. The American band Dawn Of Ashes is the strongest here. Their song "Blood of The Titans" is heavy and dark electro industrial with guitars. I admit that these sounds are undoubtedly pleasing to my ears. Noteworthy is the incredibly dark low vocals as well as the heavy combination of metal guitar riffs and electronic sounds.
Front Line Assembly posted here the song "Feeder", unpublished on any album. Previously, this track was available as a bonus vinyl when purchasing an ultra collector's version of one of the albums. The very fact of the availability of this unique track, in the company of recordings by other artists from Artoffact, makes this compilation really worth checking out.
I was also very pleasantly surprised by the track from the solo album of Jeremy Inkel (musician from Front Line Assembly and Left Spin Down who passed away not long ago). It is an instrumental, electronic composition full of futuristic sounds and great broken rhythms. The song is really catchy. I think that when played on stronger loudspeakers, it immediately gets people moving on the dance floor. The number "Embrace" comes from the Jeremy Inkel album "Hijacker" released in 2020 on Artoffact Records.
The song by cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy) recorded with the participation of Edward KaSpel (the vocalist of Legendary Pink Dots) is great. It is a beautiful, calm ballad that combines the futuristic, electronic sounds of Cevin Key's music with the psychedelic and amazing atmosphere of Legendary Pink Dots.
Stronger metal sounds are represented by four groups: prog rock Dead Quiet, noise rock Tunic, death metal Ritual Dictates and the Italian industrial metal band OvO. The band OvO makes original combination of electronics, metal weight and dark female vocals and is something that is undoubtedly also worth paying attention to.
It is a very nice compilation. All songs are at a high level when it comes to sound and musical content. There are many interesting ideas and concepts here. Despite the sometimes melancholic, cool nature of some of the songs, you can hear something positive in this music. The music presented on this album is not only a summary of 2020. Personally, I have the impression that they are also songs of the future in a way. Musically, many of these songs run to the third decade of the 21st century.
Full list of performers:
Ploho, Spectres, Actors, Bootblacks, Tunic, Kanga, cEvin Key, Sólveig, Ayria, Solo Ansamblis, WINGTIPS, Seeming, Ötzi, The Foreign Resort, Dawn of Ashes, Dead Quiet, Ritual Dictates, OvO, Front Line Assembly, Jeremy Inkel.