15 October 2009

We Are Reasonable People

Just back from a walk to James Street Parcel office to pick up the Warp20 Box Set, and damn but if it isn't one of the most beautiful collections of music I have laid my grubby little paws on.

Celebrating twenty years of the Warp label the boxed set contains 3 x 10" vinyl of unreleased material, 2 x 10" vinyl of locked-groove classic tracks, 2 x cds of classic tracks, 2 x cds of covers of Warp tracks by Warp artists, 1 x cd of an hour long Warp mix and a gorgeous 192-page booklet visually displaying the full Warp catalogue through to August 2009.

Warp is something of a personal music obsession of mine since some kind soul first played Autechre's 'Incunabula' for me back in 1997 (yes, I was somewhat late to the party by then, but I think I've more than made up for it in the subsequent years). Autechre, Plaid, B12 and Boards of Canada definitely reshaped my concept of music, how it was created, what it attempted to say, what effect it had on your brain. It encouraged me to go beyond listening and start creating, first with ACID and Fruity Loops on a PC, then on to hardware with a dusty and worn Roland MC-505 and a Korg Electribe EA-1 (again, and somewhat unfortunately for my bank balance and storage space, I have improved on that slightly in later years). Not always the easiest music to listen to, and at times stretching the concept of 'music' to the point of wondering if your cd and/or speakers are in some way damaged, as a label and concept it remains the benchmark against which I judge most other electronica.

While the Warp20 boxed set sold out before it ever shipped, two of the cd collections are available separately. 'Chosen' is a perfect introduction to Warp with classic tracks from Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher, Plaid, Boards of Canada and newer acts like Grizzly Bear and Battles. 'Recreated' is a covers album that should bring a smile to anyone with passing familiarity with the label, and worth buying just for Born Ruffians cover of Aphex Twin's 'Milkman'. Both are double albums.

More info on Warp20 can be found on Warp's mini-site here.

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At 3:27 pm, Blogger Jonzer said...

It is a thing of beauty. I have a similar tendency to use Warp and my favourite of its artists as a benchmark against other electronica. So far, all I have heard is the Born Ruffians cover and I can heartily agree that it rocks!

At 8:02 pm, Anonymous Felix said...

I love WARP. I have not invested in this auspicious (and apparently now sold out?) edition of music, being as I have no turntable on which to play vinyl. But Luke Vibert, Autechre, Boards of Canada, Squarepusher, Two Lone Swordsmen etc. were extremely important for me to discover. Not so much for my PhD sound work, but definitely for my personal development as a human being.

At 9:34 pm, Blogger 2BiT said...



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