Lily of the Valley [Schematic]

Various Artists

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Lily of the Valley [Schematic] Review

by Joshua Glazer

Say the words Miami and electronic music and you're immediately going to imagine booty-bass and trance galore, cheesy house, and tropical lounge. Nowhere on that mental list will you find the words experimental, minimal, or austere, which is what makes The Schematic Music Company such a fantastic anomaly. Even stranger, no other American experimental label gets the amount of attention afforded Schematic. They are quickly on their way to becoming the Warp or Basic Channel of the Western Hemisphere. Quite a feat, since it's impossible to picture these guys waking up in the morning, looking out the window at the palm trees, and then retiring to their laptops to make music like this. Granted, contributing artist Jake Mandell may live in Wisconsin, but the primary Schematic artists, Richard Devine and Phonecia, who contribute nearly half of the tracks on this compilation, probably don't even own winter coats. Regardless of geographic situation, the music blends easily with German artist Funkstörung or U.K. stalwarts Autechre, meaning that fragmented beats and wandering loops meet with pristine melodies that just can't resist the occasional change in time signature (why should the percussion have all the fun?). But before you begin cringing, Schematic's music is slightly more toned down than what you might imagine. Instead of assaulting your ears, it slowly crawls around them, kind of pleasant and kind of irritating, like all good experimental music should.

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