Various Artists

Warp 10+2: The Classics 1989-1992

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The second installment in Warp's ten-year anniversary campaign recycles the first four years in the label's history, times when Warp specialized in what's become known as bleep techno. Unlike the electronic listening music later developed by Warp acts Black Dog, Aphex Twin, and B12, and the more experimental approach to electronics that has become the label's forte thanks to Autechre and Squarepusher, early Warp records were Spartan productions. Classics like "LFO" by LFO, "Aftermath" by Nightmares on Wax, and "Testone" by Sweet Exorcist were heavy on the polar extremes of sound frequency: low-signal bass designed to rattle all but the most high-end sub-woofers, chirpy treble effects that focused on a cleaner, more precise angle to Chicago's trademark acid tracks, and complex percussion programs learned from classic Detroit producers. Instead of a collection charting the entire decade of its history, Warp chose to appease hardcore fans by focusing on its earliest, rarest tracks. Since Warp is such a collector-driven label anyway, it's a perfect match -- fans can finally own the tracks that in some cases they've only heard about, including the first Warp release (Forgemasters' "Track With No Name") plus tracks by Warp one-shots like Sweet Exorcist, Tricky Disco, and DJ Mink. Although the format may not work well for those unfamiliar with the label's complete history, it's a fitting tribute to the beginning of electronic dance's move from the club floor to the living room.

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