No Bones Compilations

[Shock Electronik sleeve]"Shock Electronik" (Album, 2002)

No Bones

"11 electrifying excuses for a second compilation… spearheading the development of leftfield electronic music". This compilation begins and ends with ambient electronica brushes with experimentalism and the avant garde. But sandwiched in between is a more vibrant uplifted, funkier jazz vibe, taking as much from Herbie Hancock and the more leftfield excursions of Miles Davies, as it does any post-eighties electronica.

Generally speaking, there are some very interesting ideas and sounds compiled here. From the swaying ambient introduction, Latin percussion and seventies funk-induced electronica of Fluid's Coral Beach to the richness of Wave's Moroccan Dust - a Turkish delight of a track, where David Sylvian blisters in the mid-day middle-eastern sun as he walks through the sand dunes of an oasis of jazz reflections. As with all compilations - the idea of something for everyone - there is a couple of tracks that simply don't work for me. For the age old argument from 'real musicians' (for this read Luddites) that feel electronica is all about throwing some quick an' easy pre-recorded samples together in a 'just add water' Pot Noodle fashion.

Unfortunately, for me, Gen-Ik's Be With Me Tonight, the sub-standard Chic disco thoughtfulness of Upside by Hasselhoff and Pure Bitch Power by The Swarm is simply stoking the fire with what seems to be nothing more or less than what the Luddites prescribed. The latter should be warned from using samples that themselves were overused some 10 years ago in such annoying commercial hits as Let The Drummer Get Wicked.

The standout tracks are the aforementioned Wave, Fluid, with this weeks' gold star going to what appears to be an extra twelfth track - courtesy of DJ Morpheus. With similar jazz inspirations to Wave, it evolves through a beatless experimentally 'spearheading' form of electronica ambience to a Mediterranean AM chill-out Café Del Mar-esque call, where cool sea air clarinets replace the smoke-drenched sax, as heavy eyelids close to leave electronica dreams for another day. As for being at the cutting edge of leftfield electronica, after listening, I'm not convinced of that. But that isn't to say No Bones isn't offering an excellent outlet for otherwise unexposed talent. 5/10

Terry Lane

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