London based independent Erased Tapes may only be entering its third year of existence, but already it's carved out a reputation for discovering innovative new artists from all around the globe. Previously responsible for introducing the ethereal sounds of Kyte, organic post-rock of Codes In The Clouds and icy electronica of Olafur Arnalds, Erased Tapes has slowly built up a roster it can not only be proud of, but also one genuinely envied by many of its contemporaries, both old and new.
Having unleashed its first collection of then (mostly) unknown artists back in the summer of 2008, it's been a rapid ascent for Erased Tapes, something label founder Robert Raths probably never imagined in his wildest dreams. Erased Tapes: Collection II takes up the story from where its predecessor left off. While familiar names such as the aforementioned Codes In The Clouds and Olafur Arnalds both make an appearance - indeed if you haven't already purchased the latter's Found Songs then you really should - it's some of the less established acts on Raths' impressive roster that really stand out.
Rival Consoles – aka London musician Ryan Lee West – feature three times , and deliver forcefully on each. The delightful '1985' from last summer's IO long player remains one of 2009's most engaging pieces of electronic-based music, while 'Helvetica' off the EP of the same name tells the story of an obsession with Warp Records and all its eccentricities through the eyes of a starstruck twenty-something, only with an added dose of wisdom thrown in.
Berlin-based musician Nils Frahm contributes the sombre, neo-classical 'Ambre' from his debut LP Wintermusik, released at the tail end of last year. Fellow label newcomer *Finn – aka Hamburg singer/songwriter Patrick Zimmer – offers the dramatic, lo-fi cinerama of 'Boy-Cott' off his The Low Priced Heartbreakers You Can Own opus that doesn't actually sail far off the mark of those Leonard Cohen and Junior Boys comparisons he's often labelled with.
The undoubted highlight of Erased Tapes: Compilation II however comes in the form of '65', a six minute slab of haunting dance-infused mellow tronica courtesy of Olafur Arnalds and Janus 'Bloodgroup' Rasmussen's recent side project Kiasmos, which weaves exquisite, mesmerising patterns from beginning to end that recall the likes of Photek at his finest. Add the inimitable subtleties of Peter Broderick and Nico Muhly to an already unimpeachable list and you've one of the most essential compilations released in a long, long while. What's more, it's free to download from the label's own website in low res, but with such an array of talent on offer as this, we implore you buy the HD version or each artist's physical release instead.
In a nutshell, pure sonic perfection.
8Dom Gourlay's Score