This is a release I've been looking forward to for a while, and now that it's here I'm overwhelmingly excited and I can't stop listening. This double CD compilation is meant to celebrate the 12th anniversary of Hymen Records (sister label to Ant-Zen), and it is just stuffed to the gills with quality.
33 artists contribute new tracks/mixes, mostly unreleased. The spectrum of styles runs the gamut from atmospheric drone (Hecq) to drum'n'bass (Tonikom) to apocalyptic folk (Snog) to mutant electro (Black Lung, Lowfish), and much more. Slam52 brings the frantic breakbeats and tense atmospherics. Somatic Responses marry hard electro-industrial beats with Detroit-inspired textures (shame I didn't get to see them recently when they played the city, because the rave got busted by the cops... it's OK, I got out untouched!). Access To Arasaka, Karsten Pflum and Abs6 approximate extremely fragmented, glitchy versions of dubstep. Combustion adds ethereal female vocals and guitars to downtempo clicky beats. Vent checks in with a remix of Tipper-related project Crunch for some trippy, bassy glitch-hop. Wisp offers up more of the baroque IDM that recently got him signed to Rephlex. Bit Shifter conjures up a chase scene on his Game Boy. End serves up a groovy ode to jailbait. The thoroughly underrated Twenty Knives
(formerly Pale) caps everything off with some furious acid-IDM, with a bunch of sampled vomit sounds.
There's lots of different sounds represented, and it's all really top-notch. Even some of the artists I'm familiar with take their sound in different, unexpected directions here. And of course there's plenty of excellent new artists on here to discover. Don't miss out on this one. 9/10 -- Paul Simpson (17 September, 2009)