Various Artists

Projekt Afar

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Another in the regular series of sampler compilations from the Projekt label, Projekt Afar focuses on 2009 and 2010 releases by signed or affiliated acts. The vast majority of songs are from full albums in otherwise unchanged form, though separate selections by Steve Roach and Mark Seelig ("The View from Here" and "Call of the Divine") are excerpted from their respective albums, Sigh of Ages and Disciple. Overall it's a good snapshot of the company in terms of both legacy and recent acts, covering everything from meditative electronic experimentation to theatrical goth and cabaret-inspired performances. In the case of the former, besides flagship band Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Roach, SoulWhirlingSomewhere and (via a selection from the band's archival release Girl Echo) Lovesliescrushing both take bows. Newer bands featured include Weep, the Twilight Garden, and Makaras Pen, while Nicki Jaine contributes the sole original selection featured, a live vocal/acoustic guitar-only piece entitled "A Pigeon Named Crow." It's a typically commanding performance from Jaine, while the music almost suggests the underrated Burning from the Inside era of Bauhaus, stark in arrangement but rich-sounding in texture.

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