When Carl asked me to review the new Irritant Records compilation last week I was very excited. It has only been recently that I have discovered the first comp. from this London label, entitled 'Irritant Number Nine,' and I have been spinning it ever since.
The Irritant website describes the label's music as 'lo-fi electronic pop,' but this description really only applies to about half of the music contained on 'Welcome to my World.' The other half of the comp. can be better described as 'broken beat,' the style which dominated 'Irritant Number Nine' (january 22, 2002 gullbuy).
While 'Welcome to my World' includes much of the super fast, choppy beatwork of 'Number Nine,' as a whole the compilation seems to embrace the pop sensibility lost to the first comp. Truth by told, while I love the blitzkrieg beats of 'Irritant Number Nine,' 'Welcome to my World''s best songs are its most melodic. This is not to say that 'Welcome to my World' is 'chill out' music. The compilation is dominated by choppy, abrupt beatwork; however, the music's rough edges are smoothed out by a pleasant attention to melody, making it an eventful, fresh listen from a label that never fails to deliver.
'Welcome to my World' starts out with one of my favorites on the whole comp. From an artist called Random Number, the song 'leopold b.' begins with rapid, stuttering beats that quickly merge with droning synth lines, moving the song to an excellent crescendo. This track could be viewed as a motif for the action of the entire compilation with its chunky, noisy rhythms in perfect mix with the more melodic, 'pretty' bits.
Following suit, Cwichlo's contribution blends a thumping, industrial- styled beat with spacious melodic parts and relaxed robotic vocals.
One of comp.'s best tracks, Mascara-SUE's 'carrot', would be mess of swirling static and intense breaks if not for the toy piano bits and child vocals layed on top.
My two favorite songs on 'Welcome to my World' come from Moblin and an artist called Honey and Kisses. Both tracks have the characteristic of abrupt switches in direction as if the listener were flipping a radio dial back and forth. The changes provide equal doses of melody and insanity, making for two very exciting listens.
Other favorites are tracks from Printed Circuit, an artist who rarely disappoints, as well as Braer Rabbit and Yuji, two artists who I have never heard before but whose shimmering electronic pop is not to be missed.
There are a few songs here that I disliked, but the appeal of so much on this comp. more than makes up for a few duds. I can safely recommend 'Welcome to my World' as well as 'Irritant Number Nine,' and I really hope the label continues with releases of such high quality.