Various Artists

Troubleman Sampler 2003

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Troubleman Sampler compiles 20 tracks, all previously released, from Troubleman's catalog. It's a fine introduction to the label that goes for approximately half the price of the average Dischord release. The label's bands don't add up to one specific sound, but pretty much all of them fall into the noisy-'n'-messy end of the spectrum, whether via guitars shooting off in every direction or antagonistic synthesizers. Unsurprisingly, Erase Errata provides the top highlight with "Marathon," a tight song crammed with snapping basslines and jerky guitars that works into a squall before dissolving. Pixeltan's "Beats Prepare for Torture" works a lo-fi Six Finger Satellite angle that kicks up a powerful thrill. The remaining 18 help present a snapshot that doesn't just sum up a label; it also does its part in documenting a significant chunk of the post-punk and no wave-influenced indie scene of the early 2000s.

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