Various Artists


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Kranky has been one of the most consistent labels of recent memory, constantly expanding their dream drone arc to encompass a vast array of artists under the same sonic umbrella, so a double-CD compilation from their 2004 roster is a welcome sight. That it costs less than a single indie CD (already cheaper than a major) makes it a near essential pick up for anyone curious about the spacier side of the underground or anyone wondering what Kranky has been up to since Godspeed You Black Emperor! became overtly political and left the label for the comforts of Canada's Constellation imprint. The anchor of the label has always been drone-related music, and label veterans Stars of the Lid, Charalambides, Jessica Bailiff, Pan American, and newcomers Growing all provide great examples. Newer to Kranky yet still hovering within orbit of drone and drift are the electronics, laptop, and otherwise of Loscil, Greg Davis, Keith Whitman, and Strategy. There are plenty of departures and side projects from this tight-knit crew along the way. Both Christina Carter and Tom Carter of Charalambides have new discs out, each exploring a different facet of their group's sound. Dean Roberts' Austrian supergroup Autistic Daughters pairs the experimental rocker with Radian's Martin Brandlmayr and Euro-improv linchpin Werner Dafeldecker. Jessamine spun out long ago, but not before releasing Fontanelle into the Kranky camp; likewise for Labradford, whose Mark Nelson offers up an exclusive track to Kompilation, "What Do They Dream?," as Pan American. There's even more, but it is clearly a busy, busy time in the Kranky world and Kompilation is a perfect way to check it all out.

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