Various Artists "4 Women No Cry Vol. 2"
The Berlin based Monika label has always been a major supporter of music written and/or played by women in Germany, maybe the most well known being Masha Qrella and Barbara Morgenstern. Therefore, last year?s first volume of the ?4 Women No Cry? perfectly fit in the label?s catalog. It compiled the music of four previously relatively unknown female artists on one compilation.
Almost one year later comes the second edition of the series. It starts with five tracks by Austrian born and New York resident Dorit Chrysler. This background could roughly be compared to that of Susanne Brokesch, another Austrian expat in the Big Apple. Chrysler?s music is also roughly similar to Brokesch?s, yet with more pop appeal and less mistery. Chrysler plays an instrument called Theremin, which produces nice and bubbly analogue sounds. Her five tracks vary from French tinged easy listening on ?Spring Breeze? and ?My Sweet Chimera? to electro pop songs like ?Chlorophyll?. Her interesting set ends with a dark electronica piece.
Next are three longer tracks by Japanese artist Mico who had already contributed vocals to a couple of tunes on Barbara Morgenstern and Robert Lippok?s ?Tesri?. On that disc, she very much reminded me of Yoko Noge of Chicago?s Toe 2000. On this CD she sounds a bit different. She starts with ?Signal Found? chatting in Japanese over a dry electronic groove reminiscent of Herbert and Dani Siciliano. Her second track, sung in English is less interesting, but the third brings back the groove of ?Signal Found? and combines her soulful singing with a bass heavy twisted beat.
Third is Monotekktoni, the solo project of Tonia Reeh and the definite peak of the compilation. Her first two tracks sound like a paranoid hybrid of Trans Am and Grace Jones, if that is imaginable at all. Reeh knows how to fill four minutes with enough energy to give light to a big city like her hometown of Berlin. She slows it down on the aptly titled ?No Cry? and ends it with a very expressive and angst-ridden piano ballad. As a contrast to Monotekktoni, the last four pieces by Barcelona?s Iris are more harmonic. Iris plays this certain kind of electronic music known from artists like m?m or Gustav that despite its melancholy leaves nothing but positivity behind. It?s a good ending to a felicitous compilation bringing the music of four relatively unknown female artists to a wider audience, a very supportable cause indeed. 8/10 -- Stephan Bauer (23 October, 2006)