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MP3 Boston Not London: Volume One - ELECTRONIC: Experimental

new techno, idm, and experimental music from boston

13 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Experimental, ELECTRONIC: Techno

Here''s what some have had to say about Boston not London (B>L):

"New England continues blowing up with this compilation of various artists based in the Boston, Massachusetts area-hence the name. Boston not London underlines the growing importance of Northeast Americans like Hrvatski and the artists featured here in what was once the London-only playground of abstract electronic music. Any compilation this far-ranging in style is a risk, but B>L mostly delivers. Plex (not Toshoklabs associate Plex, strangely) begins with Cycksy, a track filled with interesting melodic ideas hampered by anemic drum sounds and bass, but answers with his own bouncy Skwerkory later on. Entropy Struct steps up with Clink Feedback, one of several strong experimental tracks he donates. Pick of this comp is Technology Scums fun, Star Trek-sampling hard techno Toys, which adds of energy and sly goofiness to the proceedings. A good start that could be great with Volume 2."


"In the eighties, the hardcore compilation "This is Boston not LA" woke people up to the burgeoning local punk scene. Similarly, "B>L: V1" (on the Somerville-based CFOM imprint) is an alarm call of sorts for those who continue to harbor the misconception that all worthwhile electronic music emanates from the U.K., Germany and other distant locales. People would do very well to look much closer to home, as this disc, which is comprised exclusively of tracks by musicians from the Boston area, demonstrates brilliantly. Indeed, B>L is the latest in a string of excellently compilations recently released by American independently labels, such as Toshok Labs out of New York, Emanate from Berkeley (CA), and the Miami-based Schematic, all of which testify to the vitality of the electronic music produced on this side of the Atlantic.

This is an eclectic collection of electronica informed by a coolly experimental sensibility. It covers a lot of musical territory over sixty-seven minutes, from the quirky, squirmy funkiness of Plex to the crunchy beats and other worldly melodies of Entropy Struct and cathode ray tube, the tuneful lushness of B field and asmodeus spectre, to the insistent, pounding beats of Technology Scum and the inspired technological lunacy of Ukuphambana to the mysterious, almost Amber-era Autechre-like Dummy Plug Conspiracy. There''s so much to this disc that it rewards repeated listens. It''s a truly first-=rate compilation, which augers well for the future of both the CFOM label and the Boston electronic music scene as a whole. "

- S. Bolle , WEEKLY DIG

"I like albums that surprise me. This album is full of surprises. A compilation of music from New England electronic artists, Boston Not London is quality electronic for the thinking fan. Great music abounds here. The Hex (of Zero Times Infinity, featured here solo as Ukuphambana), describes the music as IDM. It''s not ambient--most songs have a solid progression, with plenty of lighty-abrasive beats and squiggles. Nearly every song has a different feel, but the package flows well. This is not the album to fill up your dance floor, but throw on a great pair of headphones (you do have good headphones, don''t you?) and you will be whisked away from the surrounding world. You won''t recognize artist names like Plex, Technology Scum, or Entropy Struct, and once you pop the disc in, you won''t care. Highly recommended for fans of Autechre and To Rococo Rot."
- Reviewer: DJ Lord Bass, TRANCELAB

From an interview with Charles R. Terhune, founder of c-fom:

When it comes to electronic music, Americans have a marked tendency to look to Europe (specifically to the U.K. and Germany) as the locus of musical innovation and experimentation. Unfortunately, as a result of this, we are all too often deaf to the phenomenal music produced in our own backyard. Recently, there have been a number of innovative releases by American experimental artists, attesting to the vitality of the domestic scene. One such release is the excellent Boston Not London, Volume 1 compilation (B>L for short), which was released on the CFOM label out of Somerville earlier this year. The disk is a wonderfully diverse mix of quirky, experimental electronica. As the title suggests, B>L focuses on local artists, who, in the words of CFOM''s founder, Charles R. Terhune "are making great music that doesn''t get heard."

"Initially," Terhune (who records as Cathode Ray Tube) explains, "the label just started up with my own releases, and then with the compilation the opportunity came to go out in a broader spectrum and reach more people and take on more stuff than just my own." This opportunity came about as a result of meeting a number of like-minded musicians through radio shows, e-mail newsgroups, and live events. "Basically, friends of mine were doing a lot of great music that we thought people should hear, so we decided to take on putting out this compilation, bringing this music to a wider audience and to the rest of the world." While B>L appears on his label, Terhune stresses "as much as I''d like to take all the credit, it was really a collective effort."

The response to Volume 1 has been so positive that there are already plans in the works for a second volume, which they hope to release sometime in 2001. "Volume 2 may even be a two-disk set, because so many people have suddenly come out of the woodwork, saying, Hey, I do this stuff! This is so great, because I never knew there was anything like this around. It''s generated a lot of response and a lot of interest in developing more of a ''scene'' here."

Currently, the B>L folks are preparing their first major live event on May 20th at MIT, which will include all of the artists from the compilation: Asmodeus Spectre, Kolo (formerly Plex), Cathode Ray Tube, Entropy Struct, B Field, Ukuphambana, Dummy Plug Conspiracy, Technology Scum as well as Electro Organic Sound System (from the Toneburst Collective) and Tube (DJ TopKnot). In addition, there will be visuals by Dr T and Serotonin. "There will be dancing and what-not," Terhune stresses, "but it''s always tough to pull one of these things off, when you''re not doing strictly four-to-the-floor dance beats, because, I''m the first to admit, it''s not the most interesting thing to watch; but, when you have the visuals there as another component, the video displays and installations,it''s just so complementary, and so anti-rock show."

"I''ve learned the hard way what not to play, which is high experimental noise in the middle of a dance show. I had a German woman in a little mouse suit at a Halloween show run up and shout at the partner I was playing with, ''Play ze danz hitz! You are makink uz mizerable vit zis muzik!'' I was very proud of that." [Laughs] He knows, of course, that B>L''s music is not everybody''s cup o'' tea: "I don''t want to force anybody, but for those who are interested in this kind of music, I say, ''Look, there is the American stuff that is coming out, not just by us, but by other people like Hrvatski, Kid 606, and Kit Clayton, which is just as innovative as that coming from the other side of the Atlantic.
- S. Bolle, Weekly Dig

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