“Elevate” is a twelve track compilation album, curated by Will Hall (Dig That Treasure Resonance FM) and released by Dig That Treasure! Records. “Elevate” is priced at £5 and all the proceeds goes to the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably.) CALM is leading a movement against suicide. Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives. 75% of all UK suicides are male. CALM exists to change this.
“Elevate” features twelve artists and bands, covering a healthily wide range of styles and genres of music all of whom have one thing in common, a DIY forward-thinking approach to music making. The compilation opens with the gently haunting “Platonica Erotica – Safe In Adoration (Home Edition)” A sparse, layered vocal, string infused and beautiful melodrama. With lyrics switching between confessional “I looked through her Facebook and I don’t want to see it” to mystical “There must be some God bigger than my impulses.” A lovely way to start an album and one that flows perfectly into the lo-fi cinematic ambience of “Spectral Park and Kot Kot – Surok, ” an electronic composition that springs to life through headphones. Full of unusual, drifting samples, wistful half heard, ghostly vocals and a whimsical hypnotic hook.
The album shifts styles dramatically with the third song. “Little Frog – The Angel’s Voice” is a twisted beast of a song. switching between distorted field recordings and invasive, aggressive throbbing stabs of distorted, glitching white noise, that’s reminiscent of the sound effects from 80s arcade machines and in particular pounding of the fire button. An uncomfortable but intriguing listening experience that I find suggestive of technology over nature.
“Pink Shabab – I Was Just A Boy” plays around with two short, dreamy vocal loops around which a xylophone hook, a lazy drum beat and an excellent theremin sounding synth, create a warm laid-back, almost trip-hop groove.
“Woo – The French One” continues the relaxed vibes with brothers Mark and Clive Ives injecting an acoustic, jazzy edge. “The French One” is a nostalgic instrumental nod to a cinematic world of the 60’s and early 70’s, where gentlemen dressed in sharp suits, ladies wore beautiful patterned dresses and everyone smoked cigarettes against the beat. The smokey Jazz vibe continues with “Aaron Space and His Terrestrial Underlings – (Blues) In Orbit” A bluesy jazz piano, horns and vocals (with a touch of Thom Yorke about them) blend together to make an excellent alternative jazz lounge tune, with an appreciative wave to Duke Ellington’s small band and solo piano work.
“DNA? AND? – Wiwalu Wiwayu Maskat” is a song from an Norwegian improvisation group made up of professional musicians and children with Downs Syndrome. The song is anchored around soft, easy, drum licks and an accompanying gentle piano with horns and voices sparing and rifting, almost like a call and response around the rhythm. “Julian Lynch – Big Minute #3” is, as the title suggests, a minute of guitar work.
“Tara Clerkin – I Know He Will (Remix)” is a heavily remixed version of her single. It’s stripped back and laid bare, then drenched in reverb. A melancholic sonic delight that runs delightfully into the minimalist electronic folk of ”Ted Mair – 10 Rings Deep” Ted Mair creates deceptively simple and remarkably catchy, alt folk songs. Dark, brooding and sorrowful with lyrics full of doubt “and it runs, ten rings deep, sometimes, and it feels like burning, everytime.” The emotional vibe is continued with wonderful “Martha Skye Murphy – Devil’s Town” a stunningly sung and fantastically recorded acapella before the album is rounded off with “Masahiro Takahashi – Dancers.” An excellent piece of neo-classical electronic composing, blissed out and entrancing.
“Elevate” is an eclectic listening experience. It covers a lot of genres and none of them are mainstream, there are no polished productions on offer here. What is on offer is a collection of interesting alternative musical styles and ideas and all for less than a pint, with all proceeds going to an essential charity. I really don’t think you can go wrong.
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