[Eclectica sleeve] (Compilation album, 1998)


Unsurprisingly eclectic compilation spanning ten years of songwriting, from 1987 to 1997. I picked this up on holiday in Spain - from the Joan Miro museum in Barcelona to be exact. The names Harold Budd, Hector Zazou and Tuxedomoon along with the modest £7-ish price tag are what pulled me into the purchase.

From tribal rhythms through ambient and funky jazz, its certainly a varied bunch that lives up to its title. Harold Budd delivers as always and although his track is insignificant amongst his substantial output, it is still one of the strongest tracks here. Bel Canto sound like Kate Bush singing in tongues, Benjamin Lew's Le Parfum Du Raki is an eerie middle-eastern look into the dark, and Taraf de Haidouks and Sainkho Namachylah arrange traditional songs from unspecified countries to remarkably different but equally memorable effect.

Tuxedomoon's The Train is the oldest inclusion - dating from their 1987 album You. It also draws together several diverse elements at work throughout this album. Whilst its hard to put your finger on it (largely because 'it' is more than one thing) there is a common thread running through the twelve tracks on Ecelectica. Adventurous if not always compelling listening for the open-minded. 6/10

Rob Dyer