Various Artists

Suite: 98

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First compilation from the well-respected Bungalow Records that isn't half as clever as it thinks it is. To be an indie label seems to demand a thick lather of irony, mischievous reconstruction, and for some reason, daily regiments of all things French, but at least Bungalow has the excuse of actually being on the proper side of the Atlantic. Enlivened by deep pop, house, and avant-jungle, Japan's Dob is well-represented by the regal "Au Revoir" and the Pop Tarts are Mooney Suzuki if they had spent quite a lot of time in the bunkers of Berlin instead of miniature golf courses. Skip by the tepid likes of Maxwell Implosion's unfunny retroism. Fly past the faux-intellectualism of Momus. Pretense nearly chokes it to death, but this is a compilation that often has all the right moves when it finds time to widen its own borders.

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