Neue Heimat

Various Artists

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Neue Heimat Review

by Andy Kellman

Several members of the loose network of German dance labels have been perfectly adequate at summarizing their vinyl releases on CD from time to time -- whether annually or when the mood strikes. This leaves plenty of curious ears confused with where to start, and plenty of great singles on smaller, relatively low-key labels (as opposed to the likes of Kompakt and Bpitch Control) are bound to fall through the cracks, which is where Ministry of Sound's Neue Heimat ("New Homeland") series comes in. Each volume takes in as many sounds from these labels as possible, including electronic pop, left-field house, minimal dub, and straight-up bruising techno. They're far from perfect, but they're a fine way to remain on top of new developments. The bulk of the first Neue Heimat volume covers tracks originally released around 2000 and 2001. Highlights include the goth-noir pop of Phantom/Ghost's "Perfect Lovers," the giddy squelch of M. Mayer's "Hush Hush Baby," the cozy indie pop of Lali Puna's "Scary World Theory," and the suspenseful soundtrackish stalk of Superpitcher's "Heroin." The most out-of-place inclusions come from Beanfield and Jazzanova, who are much more in the tradition of '90s acid jazz than Pet Shop Boys and New Order.

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