V/A: 70 Years of Sunshine 2xCD Monotype Records
I am not a big fan of drugs personally. Not because of the legalities or experiences that people have on them, but more the people and the cultures that engage in culture, who usually get on my nerves. ’70 Years of Sunshine’, is based on the anniversary of the first LSD trip, following on from ’50 Years of Sunshine released by San Francisco label, ‘Silent Records’ many years ago. I don’t care if people take drugs and yes I have taken them myself in years gone by, but the glorification of something as to be classified as a “wow, man” moment, just makes me think of hippies; I hate hippies.
As a compilation however, I do applaud two CD’s worth of music in a snazzy DVD box. Monotype have sourced a number of artists of which are mainly unheard of to me, so I have something to get my teeth into at least.
Opening up disc one is Kawabata Makoto with an acoustically led ambient number with soaring pads and reverberated vocals. On a different tack, but following a similar vein is Lord Tang, with a tripped out soundtrack led jaunt that fits neatly with the concept of the release. Synthesised dub is the main ingredient of ‘Octopi’ by Makyo and leads this album off on a different pathway; a necessary change in direction, deviating from the route on the map where I felt this album was going. A lot of the first disc pleasingly relies on drone-work from the selected artists and luckily it’s a genre I enjoy a lot of the time, but is still irritatingly awash with smatterings of field-recordings and attempts at being a little too “far-out man” for my liking.
Andrew Liles opens up disc two with gentle acoustics that are pleasing and understated, gently breathing between subtle ambient sounds that are ever so hypnotic. Electrifying the guitars up somewhat is Rapoon, following from where Liles left off in an almost seamless transition that adds a rhythmical flair to the mix, that is no less trance inducing with its subconscious ambience and brass infusions.
Tracks three to six of this second stint could be deemed as one long track, such is their anonymity. Mainly comprising of field-recorded sounds there is little to distinguish one from the other and it’s not until Mystical Sun steps in with a barrage of machine driven Dark Ambient that things get interesting once again, with the IDM ambience of Mirt providing a refreshing breath of life to the release once more. Ceremonial Dagger bring the beats and industrial infused precision, Cotton Ferox and Andy Rantzen provide the dub, albeit their own interpretation; and whilst not being ranked amongst the best I have heard, still add weight to this release as a whole.
Overall, this compilation does have its fair share of enjoyment for me. I am sure the moments I relish will be snubbed by those that are more into the tracks that did little to engage my tastes, so in short achieving the goal that all labels set out to accomplish when introducing the public to their catalogue.