V/A, Putting the Morr Back in Morrissey: A Morr Music Compilation
Released: September 2000
Morr Music is just about the most prolific and most interesting label around. Releases by ISAN, Phonem, Hermann & Kleine, Styrofoam, B. Fleishmann, and others have basically defined a post-Autechre IDM sound that relies on simplicity and economy, rather than Autechre's manic distortions. If anything, Morr music is a beautiful combination of atmospheric melodies and simple yet interesting rhythms. Of course, this is just a general description of the "Morr" sound. For more details, check out this wonderful 2-CD compilation, which is half original work (by Morr and like-minded artists, including Solvent and Arovane) and half remixes (Morr artists remixing other Morr artists). The split between disks would appear, at first glance, to essentially make this two separate collections. However, the songs on the second disk are (for the most part) remixes of songs found on the first disk, so the overlap is significant. More importantly, the remixes maintain a consistency in tone (if not in timbre). But the bottom line is the songs--and the 28 songs collected here are outstanding. Yes, some songs are a little too slow for their own good. Yet there are far more high points than low points here, which is all you can really ask of a compilation. Some standout tracks include Christian Kleine's "Bitter Things," with its wonderfully simple, distorted, fractured rhythm; ISAN's remix of The Notwist's "Scoop"; and E-Vax's "Glacier," which has an Autechre-like rhythm encircling a (again) simple organ line that sounds straight out of Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill." If there is a problem with this album, it is in the lack of tracks by ISAN, whom I consider to be the label's strongest artists--and one of the top IDM artists recording today. Then again, it's hard to complain about songs not included, when the songs that are included are as good as anything else released this year. Keep it up, Morr!
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