Following up 2021’s compilation ‘and felt like…’, ‘ …it wasn’t really me’ can be seen as the missing part of a diptych, only separated by the passage of time, yet whole in spirit. Again, a familiar company of singular artists showcase remarkable unity in diversity. Similar to its predecessor, a rustic gloom glues everything together into a seamless whole, enabling the collective to transcend each unique contributors’ musical voice elegantly.
Curated by Mark van de Maat.
Mastered by Amir Shoat.
Frontcover Artwork by Keziah Phillips.
Design by Steele Bonus.
Smooth-as-you-like compilation of rustic electronics from Dutch label Knekelhuis with stand-out tracks from Lara Sarkissian, Salamanda, and SSIEGE. Last year Knekelhuis released “and felt like…”, an introspective 10-track compilation that compiled sounds in the spirit of Brian Eno and Jon Hassell. This time the label’s unifying theme is “rustic gloom”, and they’ve picked another wide-ranging group of artists to represent that. Chicago-based dub ambient operative Purelink is first up with the gossamer ‘Personal Velocity’, a 3XL/West Mineral axis segment of blunted bliss that perfectly sets the mood. Tammo Hesselink’s ‘Half Learned’ is another early highlight, sounding like ’90s AFX with downtempo bumps and xenharmonic synths that graze against wormy, forest rave warbles – there’s a lot of half-baked Artificial Intelligence-era fetishism going on right now but this track actually takes us right back.
Following up on last year’s ‘and it felt like…’ collection, Knekelhuis gathers together another compelling assortment of leftfield electronics which is less bound by stylistic tropes and more by a prevailing mood. There’s a duskiness lingering over ‘…it wasn’t really me’ which is very easy to sink into during the twilight months of the year, when the sun feels like it barely creeps over the horizon. What’s particularly engaging about the curatorial approach here is that it’s not beholden to one obvious way to communicate this nebulous feeling, and so from track to track you’re continually intrigued and drawn further into this microcosm. It’s a collection which transcends its component parts – certainly not functional as a representative sampler for the assembled artists, but rather a chance to hear disparate voices drawn into a narrative which is not their own. Oliver Warwick.Best new albums Juno Daily