It’s the most distressing thing when netlabels call it quits and slowly fade into the abyss. While it’s inevitable that many of the people who dedicate their time and energy to these musical ventures will eventually move on to new vistas, it’s always a shame to see them go. I suppose it can be viewed in the context of a larger cycle of life. However, it’s always preferable to receive a formal goodbye rather than be left wondering what ever happened as the site ceases to be updated and eventually goes offline without a word.
In that regard, while it’s sad to see Camomille and Apeginine Recordings go, at least they’re doing it the right way. Instead of dropping off the face of the Earth, the labels have released a joint album featuring well-known artists from the demoscene titled Hypocondriac. We are not only left with the fond memories if their amazing CD and digital releases over the past 7 years, but are able to form new ones with this final distinguished crossover electronic offering.
Read about this thoughtful goodbye after the jump.
First things first, however. As a disclaimer to potential listeners, this is at times a very demanding listening experience best perused by those who are not afraid to broaden their horizons. It opens with some darkly-oriented ambient music before proceeding through a large variety of electronic styles to create an eclectic mix that still feels coherently whole.
Since this is not an album created by a single artist in the Apegenine/Camomille roster, but rather showcases 18 different talents, you are likely to find at least one track that you like. One particular track that I enjoyed was the highly experimental and severely glitchy remix of Ben Mono’s ”Jesus Was a B-Boy” by Makunouchi Bento. The song is rap poetry which reminds me of the American artist Ursula Rucker but with heavily processed and hardly discernable vocals. This one could definitely act as a tutorial for aspiring experimental composers.
There are more examples of artists thinking out of the box on this compilation. Calidoscopio delivers dreamy shoegaze track with ”Naturaleza,” featuring Spanish vocals which highlights how truly international the netlabel scene has become in recent years. About midway through the album things get very bleak with Abraham Smith’s ”Dean’s triumph, his dilemma” and on ”Meltwater” by Shiftless.
I’ll admit, however, that my favorite tracks among the bunch are the less experimental offerings, such as Hunz’s excellent electronic piece titled ”Venger.” It features his special trademarked vocal stylings and oozes quality, standing as one of the key tracks on the album. Hunz’s full-length album, When victims fight, was reviewed on OSV last year, and there’s also a nifty interview to browse if you feel the urge. Somewhat alike in terms of quality is US resident Troupe’s ”Scofflaws.” Like ”Venger.” it contains strong vocals and reminds me of the progressive UK rock band Genesis in the sense that it really pushes the envelope in terms of experimentation and style.
I know I could easily write an entire paragraph on each and every track on Hypocondraic, but that would result in one very bloated article. So I’ll quit while I’m ahead and leave you with the advice to download this one ASAP. Heck, even the songs that are hardly accessible on first listen are good in their own way once you get to know them. And most importantly, it’s FREE. It’s also worth noting that Apegenine Recordings is having a goodbye sale, with every one of their albums available for $8 Canadian Dollars plus shipping. Do yourself a favor and pick them up while they’re still available!